Green travel has become quite the buzz phrase lately. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit of an oxymoron. Aviation is one of the swiftest growing and most intractable sources of the carbon dioxide emissions that are the primary cause of global warming.
Mile for mile, flying isn’t so bad. On a per passenger basis, a plane actually gets slightly better mileage than a hybrid automobile. So what’s the problem? Well, the sheer number of miles adds up quickly. A large jet burns about a gallon of fuel per second. On a round-trip cross-country flight, that equates to hundreds of tons of emissions.
There are things you can do to lighten the impact. Check out our green travel tips for ways to lighten your impact.
Green Travel Tips
There are a variety of ways to reduce the impact of your travel. Here are some ideas:
- Combine trips. Cut down on flights by planning ahead so that trips can be consolidated.
- Fly direct. Multi-leg trips and stopovers use up fuel. As a side benefit, you’ll cut down on the chance of missed connections or lost luggage.
- Use a shuttle, bus, or train to get from your destination airport. If you have to rent a car, you can often save a lot of money by renting close to your hotel rather than at the airport.
- Rent a small or, better yet, a hybrid car at your destination. Don’t fall for the up-sell to a “roomier” vehicle. What are you going to do with that extra space?
- Reduce your baggage. Every pound counts.
- Get a hotel near the airport, if it helps you cut down on driving miles.
- Fly coach. You’ll save money and reduce emissions.
And there’s one other thing you can do: balance out the emissions you can’t eliminate by purchasing carbon offsets.