Brissie: not eco-conscious?

Brisbane in Queenland, Australia, has fared poorly on a list of destinations for environmentally conscious flyers…

Figures released to show less than 10 per cent of Jetstar patrons travelling to the River City choose to offset flight emissions.

Brisbane was ranked 11th of 16 destinations where flyers were prepared to part with an extra $2.50 to ensure their travel was carbon neutral.

Ballina-Byron Bay finished on top of the list, which was compiled between September 2007 and June 2008, with 19.32 per cent of people choosing to offset emissions.

The popular holiday destination was followed by Hobart, Melbourne Avalon/Geelong and Newcastle.

The program proved less popular in Queensland, with Sunshine State locations filling the final four positions on the list.

The Gold Coast, Whitsunday Coast and Townsville occupied spots 13 to 15, while the Fraser Coast rounded out the list with a mere 8.18 per cent.

Since its launch in 2007, the offset option has experienced a steady decline in popularity.

Participation was more than 10 per cent at its inception, but has slumped to about 8 per cent, according to Jetstar spokesperson Simon Westaway.

The decline has more to do with flight plans than changing attitudes, he added.

"[It] doesn't mean that people are less environmentally aware," he said. "Some of [its] to do with just the changing network that we operate and because we're getting increasingly more international flyers on our network."

However, a Qantas spokesman told it had experienced an increase in its carbon offsets program, which covers both the national carrier and Jetstar.

"In 2008-09, Qantas and Jetstar customers paid to offset almost 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent," she said.

"[As at our half-year results for 2009-10], we have offset 710,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent."

That's an increase of 460,000 tonnes in the past two years."

About 10 per cent of Virgin Blue flyers have opted for the carbon emission offset in recent years..

The highest proportion of Virgin passengers choosing to offset tend use the Sydney-Melbourne, Sydney-Brisbane and Melbourne-Brisban routes, a spokesman said.

Project Manager for Queensland University's Sustainable Business Unit Alexander Stathakis said young flyers are more likely to pay to offset carbon emissions.

"The uptake of voluntary carbon offsets by private travellers has experienced a large increase due to environmental concerns of especially young people, he said.

Several young people have purchased carbon offset tickets for the popular Splendour in the Grass festival, held in the Byron-Ballina region until this year.

Upcoming festival, Splendour in the Grass, has been behind this drive for environmental awareness.

For the past three years, 12,415 of these tickets have been sold.