Lately it's impossible to flip through the news and not hear about how our actions are damaging our planet!
Wondering how you can contribute to slowing down climate change?
Being mindful of your travel-related carbon footprint is one way to make a difference!
What Is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouses gases (including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) emitted into the atmosphere from our activities and the products we use.
Greenhouse gases stop heat from escaping earth and raise the temperature of the planet.
Transportation, energy generation, food manufacturing and goods production all have a carbon footprint.
In the United States, transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions.
Here's how modes of transport contribute to carbon footprint:
SUV (1 passenger)
Small car (1 passenger)
What's My Car's Carbon Footprint?
One of the most popular ways of travelling is by car. Personal cars with 1 passenger have a high carbon footprint.
There are three major categories of cars:
Hybrid and electric cars have a smaller carbon footprint than gas-powered cars.
The carbon footprint of cars is determined by:
energy consumed during production
energy source and charging methods
emissions while driving
battery disposal and recycling options
Calculate your car's carbon footprint using this tool.
What Can You Do About It?
There are many other ways to reduce your travel-related carbon footprint. A good place to start is by auditing how you get from here to there.
Explore some alternative options below:
Is it somewhere you can walk to? Walking reduces your carbon footprint and it promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Consider biking instead of driving. Sometimes places may be too far to walk to but might be within biking distance.
Traveling a longer distance? If you can take the the train to your destination pick that over an airplane.
Multiple people driving to the same place? Carpooling can reduce carbon emissions by using one vehicle.
Managing Your Carbon Footprint On Vacation
You've just booked a solo vacation from Vancouver to Amsterdam. Despite trying to find a direct flight to your destination, the only option was to take a flight with a layover in Toronto.
Your hotel in Amsterdam is within a 10km radius of many "must see" places. While your carbon footprint from the flights will be high, which transportation options could you choose to ensure your carbon footprint is as low as possible when in Amsterdam?
Option A: Get a bike to explore the city
Option B: Rent a compact car
Option C: Take a tour bus around the city
Option D: Travel by local subway trains
Select the transportation options that will ensure your carbon footprint is as low as possible when in Amsterdam.
A great way to start is by changing how you travel around your own city!