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Globe 100 | True Green

Flying the earth-friendly skies

(Laura McCabe for The Boston Globe)
By Erin Ailworth
Globe Staff / May 18, 2010

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Here's an airline expense to feel good about: purchasing carbon credits to help counter the pollution generated by your flight.

JetBlue Airways teamed up with the nonprofit Carbonfund.org to sell carbon credits to ecoconscious jet setters, said JetBlue’s Icema Gibbs.

Proceeds go toward one of three green projects handpicked by JetBlue: a wind farm in Texas, a solid-waste plant in New York that converts methane gas into power, and a reforestation project in Louisiana.

JetBlue also buys credits to offset business travel by its own crews. “We can’t ask our customers to do something that we’re not doing,’’ said Gina Rauscher, manager of corporate social responsibility.

In the last three years, the airline and its customers have racked up credits equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road for one year, according to JetBlue.

Buying the credits is relatively simple. Anyone who books a JetBlue flight will get a link to Carbonfund.org. There, visitors can use a calculator to figure out how much pollution their flight will generate.

A round trip from Boston to San Francisco, for instance, is 5,426 miles and generates 0.98 tons of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global climate change. The cost to offset: $9.77.

“We have seen a lot of pickup from our customers,’’ Gibbs said of the initiative. “People are continually saying that this is great.’’