A new feature rolled out by Google this week has made flying “greener” for the environmentally conscious.
As per this new functionality, a simple Google search for flights can now tell us which flights have lower carbon emissions, giving you the ability to choose flights based on carbon emissions- similar to what they would for price or the number of layovers.
The search gives an estimate of how many kilograms of carbon dioxide the flight will emit from start to finish. Users can prioritize their search by emissions, much like they can by price if desired. Flights with emissions below the median get highlighted in green.
According to Google, these emissions are drawn from a combination of data from the European Environmental Agency and flight-specific information it gets from airlines and other providers.
This being said, the company has also mentioned that some flights may not have estimates because of a lack of data on certain aircraft or other missing information. They added that the estimates don’t yet take into account what direction the plane is heading — a potentially significant factor if flying into or with the jetstream, or whether or not the flight is using biofuels or other alternatives.
Also on Wednesday, Google introduced technology that allows drivers to find more fuel-efficient routes on Google Maps and from Google’s Nest thermostat, upgrades that will help people find energy from the power grid during times of day when its sources are cleaner, such as from wind and solar.