An innovative program launched last week in San Francisco gives the public an opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint.

The Climate Passport Program introduced three kiosks in the San Francisco International Airport as part of a partnership project with the carbon reduction company 3Degrees.

The kiosks calculate the pounds of carbon dioxide a passenger’s flight will produce, and then give the option to purchase offsetting credits to go towards greenhouse gas reduction projects in San Francisco.

Mayor Gavin Newsom stated in a press release, “We created a program that enables travelers to voluntarily offset the emissions from their trip through supporting local projects that reduce greenhouse gases.

“The Climate Passport kiosks are good for the climate and for San Francisco’s economy.”

Climate Action Coordinator Kalla Rose Ostrander said that part of the money generated from the Climate Passport Program funds the reforestation of the 24,000-acre Garcia River Forest in Mendocino County, as well as going toward the San Francisco Carbon Fund.

Executive Vice-President of 3Degrees Mike McDougal said, “Mature forests are disappearing because of development. Protecting existing forests is very important.” 

McDougal claimed the goal of the program isn’t to make travelers feel guilty about flying, but to offer a way to show their environmental awareness.

McDougal hopes this program will make a statement, help environmental projects and encourage people to change their behaviors.

“I think people assume this program is going to save the world. It is the first of many steps,” said McDougal.

“Money is taken from a bad activity, and putting it toward a good activity,” said Rose Ostrander.

The first project of the SF Carbon Fund is with Dog Patch Biofuels, the only publicly owned biodiesel filling station in the city. The project will reduce CO2 emissions by replacing diesel in vehicles with cleaner biodiesel, claimed Rose Ostrander.

By allowing local businesses and non-profit groups to purchase these credits, the SF Carbon Fund has the potential to stimulate the city’s economy.

Travelers can also take part in the Climate Passport Program by purchasing carbon credits online through

Louis Dettorre can be reached at