Ecostreamjet is airborne with a greener way to fly

MGM Grand Airplane - H 2015
Courtesy of Aero Icarus/Flickr/Creative Commons

"As a private jet pilot, I have first-hand experience with some of the inefficiencies that existed prior to companies like Ecostreamjet," Ecostreamjet founder Ric Shiarella says. "So I feel a responsibility to give something back -- and this is my way of doing it."

How Shiarella -- an aviation veteran boasting more than 3,000 hours of flight time -- did that was to found the eco-friendly private jet brokerage in 2007.

While other green-striving aviation outfits provide a carbon calculator on their Web sites for the passenger to "play around" with the option to purchase carbon offsets, for Ecostreamjet "offsetting our carbon footprint is a corporate mandate," Shiarella says.

Ecostreamjet partners with NativeEnergy, a carbon solutions consulting firm that calculates the total carbon footprint of each flight. The cost of purchasing carbon credits to offset the emissions of the flight is then built into the price of a ticket.

Native Energy earmarks the money it raises for specific projects like windmill farms. As for Ecostreamjet, it flies newer, fuel-efficient aircraft whenever possible; invests in the research and development of plane engines that release less pollution; and is looking into the possibility of alternative jet fuels.

Says Shiarella: "We have a strong feeling that pretty soon, if we don't do the things that Ecostreamjet is doing voluntarily, eventually the government is going to mandate that we do them and later it will be at a greater cost."