Update 7 June. The NSW/ACT Parachute Council have agreed to match any NSW Jumpers who make a donation to Greenfleet with a like donation of $20 up to a maximum of $500. That’s super cool so thanks to everyone at the Council for getting behind the initiative.

It’s no secret that flying isn’t great for the environment.

According to Google, aviation is responsible for 2.4% of global CO2 emissions and overall, the industry is responsible for 5% of global warming.

Unless you live under a rock, by now you’ll know that global warming is responsible for rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, Married At First Sight and many other truly terrible things.

Applied to skydiving, given that it’s only a small proportion of the population who actually fly during the year, for anyone who gets on a plane, flying will likely make up a fair chunk of your annual personal environmental footprint. And while one 45km round trip to height and back (that’s according to Zak, the pilot at Moo) might not be a big deal, doing a load of jumps every other weekend will add up over the year.

Of course, how much carbon emission your skydiving addiction is responsible for will depend on a range of factors such as the type of plane you’re jumping from, the height of the jump, etc.  However, a rough trawl of the interwebs and various sites suggests that if you did 100 jumps a year you might be responsible for approximately 1,110kg – 2,722kg of carbon emissions.

It’s something I’ve thought about every now and then, as I’ve been on the way to height and for a variety of reasons something I’ve been thinking about a lot more recently.

I wouldn’t say I’m an environmentalist, but I do believe in personal responsibility, and I like to make a difference if and where I can.  So, I’ve come up with CarbonFreeFall.  A decidedly straightforward, low-tech way to offset my annual skydiving related carbon emissions.

And I’d like to invite you to get involved too!

So, what’s my idea?  Well it’s nothing novel or unique.  Just simply making an annual donation to a carbon offsetting not-for-profit.

A carbon offset is a credit that you can buy to decrease your carbon footprint. When the number of carbon offset credits bought is equal to your carbon footprint, you become carbon neutral. 

All I’ll be doing is calculating (roughly) my carbon footprint as a result of skydiving and donating to, Australia’s oldest carbon offsetting not-for-profit.

Greenfleet plants legally protected native forests to reduce the impacts of climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere.  You can see some of their projects here.

And the good news is, according to my very rough calculations it’ll cost less that the price of a single jump ticket.  And it’s tax deductible 😊

If you’d like to get involved this is how it works.

Each June when it’s time to renew your APF membership you’ll have to see how many jumps you’ve done in the last twelve months as part of your renewal application.

Your carbon offset contribution will depend on the number of jumps you’ve done over the year as follows:

Number of JumpsContribution
250 +$50

Of course, this is just a suggestion.  You can donate whatever you like.  Every dollar will make a difference.

To make a donation, jump over to the Greenfleet donation page and make your donation.  Easy peasy.  I’ve already done mine for the year!

And if that wasn’t enough, I’m making up a load of stickers for your lids for any donation over ten bucks.  All you need to do is email me your receipt and PayPal me $1.50 to cover post and packing and soon you’ll be virtue signalling your green credentials to everyone at your local DZ. 

Nah, seriously.  I think it’s a great idea and I really hope a few of you jump on board and help make a difference.  I’ve printed 100 stickers and if I managed to get rid of them all I’d be over the moon.

It’s not going to solve the climate crisis, but I reckon I’m going to feel better about my skydiving knowing that I’m offsetting the carbon footprints of my jumps.

I actually came up with the idea (as did that awesome fella Meirbhin O Conaill) over a year ago and sent it across to the APF as I thought they might want to include it as a voluntary contribution to the membership renewal, but I guess it didn’t find any legs over at skydiving HQ or otherwise suffocated by sub-committee.

Let’s see if a more grass roots approach has better success.

And finally, moving forward, I’m going to be including a CarbonFreeFall offset charge to all the Jump Junkie events I organise.  It will automatically be included in the rego and I’ll make the donation at the end of each event.

I’ll keep a tally and we’ll see how much Jump Junkie manages to donate during the course of the year!

If you’re an event organizer and want to do the same thing, get in touch and perhaps we can talk about making it a co-ordinated approach across our events.

Green Skies, legends!

6 responses to “CarbonFreeFall”

  1. Also, found this while browsing on the topic:
    Pete Allum channel dedicated to the sustainability of skydiving: , very interesting content, including exciting discussions on electrification of aviations (ever thought about what it would feel to jump from an electric Caravan ?

  2. Hey Marcus,
    That’s a great initiative, love this, we need to take action on the environmental impact of our sport. I never ran the numbers and actually assumed way lower emissions for some reason, that’s a good wake up call.
    To put things in perspective, the target emission per capita / year by 2030 is 2.3t (src Oxfam International)… Australia’s latest number I found is 15t per capita in 2021 – so 1.1~2.7t is pretty big (for 100 jumps). And the fact that we don’t even have a proper number is quite telling on where we are on the journey.
    One thing I wondered is whether I would wear a ‘carbon free’ sticker. Carbon offsetting is better than nothing but it doesn’t replace the need to reduce the GHG emissions in the first place, the actual net result of those carbon offsetting programs – even the most serious ones – is highly debated. Personally I see this as a contribution to the climate action effort more than a way to erase my carbon debt.
    Maybe ’Towards carbon free’ or ‘Towards sustainability’ would better highlight that this is a starting point, not the end game – food for thoughts for the next edition.
    I will definitely participate anyway – and wear the sticker to raise awareness – thanks again for taking the lead!

  3. HI Marcus, Well written, mate. I have been feeling pretty bad about doing funjumps for the last 10 years or so, always thinking about the pollution we create, just to go up and have some fun. I donate a fair bit of money to different charities, and I would love to add this one to my list. Thank you very much for taking this initiative! And I really think, APF should spread the word to their members, because we do participate in one of the most ‘air-polluting’ sports in the world.

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