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!

Climate Change Weather GIF by INTO ACTION

What Is Carbon Footprint?

Plane flying with purple CO2 emissions

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.

Greenhouse Gas Globalwarming GIF by ELYX

Transportation, energy generation, food manufacturing and goods production all have a carbon footprint.

Research Says...

In the United States, transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions.

Here's how modes of transport contribute to carbon footprint:

Graph showing emissions by mode of transport: plane is the highest with .82 pounds of CO2 per mile

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Best Options

  • Ferry

  • Tour Bus

  • Train

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Worst Offenders

  • Airplanes

  • 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:

  • Gas/petrol-powered

  • Hybrid (gas/electric)

  • Electric

Hybrid and electric cars have a smaller carbon footprint than gas-powered cars.

Gif with hand holding car keys and car

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:

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Is it somewhere you can walk to? Walking reduces your carbon footprint and it promotes a healthy lifestyle.

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Consider biking instead of driving. Sometimes places may be too far to walk to but might be within biking distance.

Flaticon IconTraveling a longer distance? If you can take the the train to your destination pick that over an airplane.

Flaticon IconMultiple 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

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Quiz

Select the transportation options that will ensure your carbon footprint is as low as possible when in Amsterdam.

Take Action

A great way to start is by changing how you travel around your own city!

Woman in a moving train looking out the window

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This Byte has been authored by

KV

Karishma Vaz

Learning Content Developer