How Many Trees Should You Plant for Carbon Neutral Travel?

We’re all becoming more aware of our carbon footprint. But are we aware of how much this is actually costing the planet? How many trees would we need to plant to offset our holidays? 

It can be hard to visualise the cost of carbon when it comes to flying. How much exactly is 1 tonne of CO2? With that in mind, we’ve decided to explore carbon costs in terms of trees. Exactly how many trees would UK holidaymakers need to plant to offset the carbon emissions?

Carbon Cost for the UK’s Most Popular Holiday Destinations

We’ve looked at the top 20 most visited locations from the UK and calculated how many trees would need to be planted per person, per trip in order to offset carbon emissions.

How many trees do you need to plant to offset your carbon footprint when travelling from the UK?

Annual Cost of Carbon for Holidays from the UK

What about on a bigger scale? Taking the overall number of visitors to the 10 most popular holiday destinations, we’ve calculated the total number of trees that would need to be planted, and visualised these in football fields.

Spain, the most visited location from the UK, beats out long-haul locations like the USA. The UK would need to plant 3017 football fields worth of trees to offset the 15.62 million visitors we send annually.

Cost of Carbon Per Person – Business Trips

Of course, we’re not always flying for pleasure. Taking a list of the most important business locations globally, we’ve calculated how many trees companies should be planting to offset the travel costs of sending their staff around the world.

Singapore takes the top spot – a business trip from London will cost you 20 trees! Hong Kong and Tokyo come next, with 18. If your business is concerned with their carbon footprint, then maybe working with Germany is the way forward – a trip to Frankfurt is worth just one tree.

If you’re concerned about the impact of your carbon footprint and want to offset it by planting trees, charities such as TeamTrees.org or the Woodland Trust can help you do just that.

To work out the cost of carbon for a destination that we haven’t covered, see our methodology below.

Methodology

We took the Top 20 Location from Tripadvisor, Annual Figures from Statistica and Business Destinations from Investopedia.  We used carbonfootprint.com to find how many tonnes of CO2 each trip would generate. Trees for Life calculates 6 trees offset 1 tonne of CO2. So 1 Tree = 0.16 tonnes CO2. We then divided carbon figure by 0.16 to get the total number of trees. To find football fields, we calculated the average acre as 43560 square feet. 2ft rows between rows and between trees would give 10890 trees in an acre. Football fields are around 76% of an acre.

Sources – tripadvisor.co.uk – statistica.com – investopedia.com – carbonfootprint.com – treesforlife.org –