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travel

Carbon Light

If one more person brags about what he’s doing to erase his carbon footprint, you’re going to stomp all over him with your very heavy boots.

Still, all this attention to inconvenient truths means it’s never been more convenient to be environmentally sensitive when you travel.

But you don’t want to be just sensitive: You want to be neutral — as in carbon neutral. Every time you fly, drive, or flip a light switch, you generate carbon dioxide — the carbon emissions that cause global warming. But you can undo some of that damage by investing in “carbon offsets” (the funds usually benefit renewable energy projects like wind power and greenhouse gas reduction). Think of it as paying your energy toll.

TerraPass lets you calculate your emissions based on car model and mileage or flight distance. The $36.95 Intercontinental pass offsets 7,500 pounds of CO2 or about 20,000 flight miles. (That’s good for two RTs between Seattle and Casablanca.) Average mileage on a 2007 Toyota Prius generates 4,226 pounds, which will run you $29.95 annually. (And you thought the car was enough.)

DrivingGreen.com does the same — and lets you figure out how to offset your events. (You might rethink the destination wedding.)

Or just leave the math to someone else: Silverjet, the new all-business class British airline, bills itself as the first carbon neutral airline. Included in every ticket price is a carbon offset fee, which allows customers to reinvest earned carbon points in various green projects around the world.

Now off you go. Tell everyone how you’re leaving the world a better place.


For more information, go to carbonoffsets.org.