Credit for Bad Behavior

If buying offsets can excuse excessive carbon use, why not other irresponsible acts?

Illustration for TIME by Dave Wheeler

There is a new service from Expedia, Travelocity and other travel websites: environmental expiation. If you wish, when you buy a plane ticket, they will figure out how much carbon your trip will be adding to the atmosphere and charge you for it. (For Boston to Los Angeles, about 3,000 miles, it comes to around $9.) The money goes to nonprofit groups that either plant trees to absorb the carbon or produce an equal amount of energy in an eco-friendly way (using windmills and such). You are still increasing the carbon in the air, but someone else, thanks to you, is...

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