Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Pick the Greenest

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Planning a posh ski retreat, exotic beach excursion or fun-filled family vacay this summer? Between the hustle and bustle of packing bags, making reservations and readying your home for departure, take a moment to consider how you’ll get there. To help you choose the mode of transportation that’s right for you – and has the smallest impact on our planet – Earth911 ranked common means of travel based on carbon emissions. You may be surprised by which came out greener!

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Photo: Shutterstock

Believe it or not, one vacation can have a larger environmental impact than an entire year of commuting to work. A week-long getaway for a family of four, including a 2,200-mile round-trip flight in first class, produces nearly 12,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, according to a study conducted by the Union of Concerned Scientists. That’s nearly twice the carbon emissions produced by most families in their weekday commute for an entire year, the study found.

Your best travel bet may change based on the distance you travel and the size of your party. To make sure your trips produce the minimal amount of carbon emissions every time, just use our handy guide to choose the means of travel that suits you, and the planet, best.

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Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni

Based in the Phoenix metro area, Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.

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