Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Green Travel

Something that is always a hot topic among Humane Educators is the question of travel and its impact on the environment. On the one hand, Humane Educators as a group like to travel, to see different places and people, and often go to conferences as attendees or as presenters. However, we are also aware of the huge impact that travel, and air travel in particular, has on the environment.

So, when I went to Vancouver to give a talk on Humane Parenting in the spring, I became interested in the idea of using carbon offsets to help alleviate the impact of my trip. My travel agent, Roz at Skyland World Travel here in New Jersey, referred me to Carbonfund.org. This company allows you to purchase carbon offsets and even decide which program will be funded through your donation. In addition to carbon offsets, you can also purchase offsets for radiative forcing, which is the effect of the frozen vapor trails, called contrails, that are generated by aircraft and cause a net warming effect.

I am happy to say that my donation will be used to fund renewable energy projects such as the construction of wind farms, landfill methane projects (where the methane produced by landfills is destroyed), and a waste-to-energy biodigester. Of course, this is not a perfect solution to the problem of the impact of travel on the planet, but at least it's a start!

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