Green World Travel

I love to travel, but I have a hard time reconciling my travel bug with my sustainability bug. The flight and other transportation alone make it so I am using way more fossil fuels than I’d like. So I searched out ways to offset the cost to the environment and to reduce the use of fossil fuels when I reach my destination. I will use a trip to Buenos Aires as an example case, mostly because that is where I would love to visit next.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Buenos_Aires_-Argentina-_136.jpg/320px-Buenos_Aires_-Argentina-_136.jpgIt’s about six thousand miles from my closest international airport to Buenos Aires. For simplicity’s sake I’m going to say that I can take a Boeing 777-300 all the way there, even though there are no direct flights from Denver to Buenos Aires. That airplane uses about 0.01665 gallons per passenger per mile. If I fly to Buenos Aires I will use nearly 100 gallons of jet fuel, probably a lot less than if I drove. Surprisingly, the cost of jet fuel (as a commodity) is around $3/ gallon which means only $300 of my flight is going to gas.

So, how do I offset the environmental cost of my flight: buy carbon offsets. A roundtrip would produce about 5000lbs of carbon to enter the air. At TerraPass, a site that allows you to purchase carbon offsets for everything from driving around to owning a house, that amount of carbon will cost you about $30. I feel like TerraPass would be the easy way to offset everything about my trip, but there are some things I can do once I get to my destination that will allow me to produce less carbon as well.

I don’t mind staying in hostels and there are a lot of hostels that focus on being green, purely to keep costs down. If you don’t like hostels, and you want to try and be green on your vacation, search out eco-hotels. More ways to be green: Stay near a public transportation system, rent a bike, and bring your own grocery bags. If you are leaving the city, see if a bus or train can take you where you’re going. There are a bunch more ideas at Discovery Channel’s Planet Green.

Tom

About Tom

I co-founded Health Now, Wealth Forever when I realized I was unhappy with where I was in life. I was overweight, unhealthy, and stuck in a business that I couldn't save. I had little hope. With our mission of helping others with the same problems, I am now in a much better place in all facets of my life. Most of my posts are about improving your diet - I think health most important. But, I also write about sustainable living, self-improvement, and occasionally improving finances. After all, one of my personal mottos is balance in everything.

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