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Lincoln travel agency's plan: Buy a ticket, plant a tree
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Lincoln travel agency's plan: Buy a ticket, plant a tree

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Executive Travel Trees, 7.14

Steve Glenn, chairman of Executive Travel, talks Wednesday about the company's plan to give out a tree for every airline ticket sold.

Between melting ice caps and frequent wildfires the planet isn’t doing great right now. Here are some ways you can help. 1. Plant Trees. Reforestation is the most cost-effective way to prevent global warming. Online platforms like Treedom specialize in allowing users to plant trees in tropical rainforests for a fee. 2. Change Your Transportation Habits. 82% of emissions from transportation come from cars, so any reduction in car usage can make a big impact. Ridesharing, cycling, walking, or even just accelerating and braking more gently are all habits that help the environment. 3. Lower Your Heating Bill. Lowering your heating bill is good for your wallet but also for the environment. Heating systems are the single biggest energy expense in the home so try to keep the heating off as much as possible. Improving insulation and the airtightness of your home is a great way to avoid heat escaping from your home.

Airline travel was responsible for more than 900 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, a number that's expected to triple by 2050, according to the United Nations.

Lincoln's Executive Travel believes it has a plan to help reduce the industry's impact on the planet.

The travel management company on Wednesday announced its new ETGreen initiative, which has a goal of planting 1 million trees.

The initiative, which Executive Travel plans to start in September, will plant a tree for every airline ticket bought through the company.

Steve Glenn, who founded the company and is now its chairman, said the plan is to purchase seedlings and either give them to customers to plant or plant them for them if they don't have anywhere to put them.

Glenn said he hopes to partner with local businesses, nonprofits and other organizations to plant trees in areas where they are needed. He also has plans to plant trees on land he owns around Lincoln for what will be called the Glenn Family Forest.

"Planting trees not only helps our environment, but it also helps to beautify the communities in which we live," Glenn said.

Research has shown a mature tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, so planting 1 million trees would mean taking an additional 48 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year.

Planting a tree for each ticket sold, "turns something that's a negative on the environment and turns it into something that's a positive," said Paul Glenn, Executive Travel's CEO and Steve Glenn's son.

He said the initiative is a "great way to have people positively engaged" as travel starts to come back after the coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Glenn said he believes Executive Travel is the first company, at least in the travel industry, to offer such a program. He said it is designed in a way that it can be copied by other organizations, and he is already working on agreements with some local companies.

"We hope to be the catalyst for our community," he said.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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