Air travelers offered way to ease guilt

March 2, 2007

A Virginia non-profit group is one of a number of groups benefiting from travelers who feel guilty about environmental damage caused by jetliners.

British Airways along with travel sites Travelocity and Expedia are giving purchasers a chance to buy an environmental offset when they get their airline ticket, USA Today reported Friday.

One of the beneficiaries of the offsets is The Conservation Fund, a non-profit with headquarters in Virginia that received the American Institute of Philanthropy's highest grade for accountability and performance. But not all organizations receiving the travel donations are like The Conservation Fund, the newspaper said.

Electrical engineer Ron Goltsch of West Caldwell, N.J. said he looked into one and found it was in business to make money, USA Today reported.

"I have a lot of doubts when some for-profit business needs my cash to save the world," said Goltsch.

Critics in the environmental movement told USA Today they worry that selling offsets may divert the public from supporting actions that would make a bigger difference, such as stricter laws.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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