You want to be green. You recycle. You turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth. But you’re not going to forgo a flight to a tropical paradise and top-notch accommodations, even though planes emit greenhouse gases and routine hotel practices, like washing the linens each day, hurt the environment. After all, you love to travel — and well.
There’s still hope. To help you sleep easier on those high-thread-count sheets, here are 10 small ways to travel a little more responsibly, even when taking that trip to Hawaii.
Offset Your Flight
Flying (especially on short flights) is among the least sustainable ways to travel, according to groups such as the
Environmental Defense Fund
. Some airlines allow you to try to compensate for the carbon footprint you create when flying, however, by buying what are known as carbon offsets, or various ways to reduce greenhouse gases. Passengers on airlines like
can calculate their carbon footprint on the airline websites, which equate the size of a trip’s carbon footprint with a dollar figure. They can then donate their money or miles to a carbon reduction project such as forest conservation or renewable energy. Airlines are not the only ones offering offsets, though.
, for instance, has a rail calculator and allows you to offset your train trip through
Some environmental organizations have said that
offset programs are problematic
. And a number of them have suggested that the carbon calculators on airline sites are not precise enough because they do not take into consideration factors like whether you’re flying first class (which results in a larger carbon footprint because you’re taking up space that could otherwise have been used to transport more people). Still, contributing to such programs is better than flying and doing nothing. For a more precise calculator, check out
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