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Pollution Agency Advises Against High Carbon Vacations

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants you to think twice about that summer vacation you’ve been looking forward to.CO Footprint

As many of you embark on long-awaited summer vacations, remember to do so sustainably! It’s easy to forget the huge carbon cost of travel—one yearly vacation can cancel out a year’s worth of sustainable lifestyle choices. Luckily, many people are concerned about this problem. A recent survey showed that 67% of Americans think eco-friendly travel is important.

Fortunately, the agency’s latest Living Green 365 newsletter provides tips on how to literally go green and “take your vacation without the guilt”. But you should strongly consider cancelling any plane reservations.

Take five minutes to calculate your carbon footprint and you may discover the ugly truth: air travel is often the biggest contributor to personal carbon emissions.

This summer, why not return to more time-honored forms of transportation?

 “Time-honored” means no SUV, preferably not even a more fuel-efficient car. The environmentally advisable way to go according to the MPCA? Motor coach and train.

Check out motor coach routes—these comfortable buses are the most carbon-friendly way to travel, and also a great way to save money on transportation!

Train travel is also an overlooked travel option. Amtrak has routes all across the country and can often count as a carbon-free trip for you.

Either way, the state suggests buying an environmental indulgence to ease your conscience.

Many people choose to invest in carbon offset plans to balance their trip with a positive climate impact. However, the world of carbon offsets is complicated, with many different companies vying for customers’ money.

…Ultimately, it may be better to donate directly to a clean energy project or other organization doing climate-related work. These organizations are doing the same work as many carbon offset groups, and donating directly will cut out the middle-person. Better yet, look up environmental groups in the region you’re traveling to and use this as an opportunity to make an environmental connection to the place you visit.staycation

If you haven’t cancelled your trip by now, due to all the hoops the state’s environmental travel agency recommends you go through, here’s one last tip: Pack light!

A lighter suitcase does more than just simplify your travel. Extra weight requires more fuel to transport, so cutting back on what you bring can help make your trip less stressful and reduce your carbon emissions!

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