Be light on the planet this vacation

Want the best vacation with the least impact on the planet?  Here are five tips:

If flying:

  • Travel as lightly as you can; every ounce that doesn’t travel with you saves fuel (and notice how baggage charges are starting to reflect that reality?)
  • Consider offsetting your air travel with carbon offsets; not perfect, but the best in the here-and-now

And whether you’re flying or not:

  • Walk, bike, paddle or use public transit as much as possible at your destination
  • If possible, choose a hotel that has a sustainability certification like Green Key, Green Seal or Green Globe (there are others too)
  • Choose local food and bevies (often much better tasting too!)

Thanks to Bullfrog Power for these tips; read more here.

One guiding thought for 2012

December 27, 2011

A couple of years ago, I completed an on-line quiz about my footprint on the planet.  It asked questions about how I live – house, vehicle, driving, food, waste and more – and then calculated how much land it takes to sustain my lifestyle.  I was shocked when it told me that if everyone on the planet lived like me, we’d need four planets.  I’ve worked really hard since then to reduce my footprint – but more recently I discovered that that ratio applies to all Canadians: if everyone on the planet lived like us, we’d need four planets.

Of course, there is only one: this fragile, beautiful, precious and irreplaceable planet.

So perhaps the best New Years resolution any of us can make is this: to strive to use less of everything, in whatever way we can.

Fly less, fly light

February 27, 2009

I used to love to fly, but it’s not as much fun as it used to be. Why? Because I’ve learned that from an environmental perspective, flying is one of the worst ways to travel. A round trip from my local airport to Toronto (1:45 each way in a small jet) produces about 450 kg of CO2 emissions – nearly half a tonne! (Note: this is the average of 4 sources)

What to do? The BEST solution is to avoid flying altogether by using videoconferencing, teleconferencing and webinars when possible; and vacationing near home.

And when flying is unavoidable, fly light: critically assess every ounce you take with you, because every ounce has a carbon footprint in the air. Plus buy a carbon offset to counterbalance the impact of your flight – a small premium for the health of the planet.