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Articles by Heather Hansman

Heather Hansman is a writer and editor based in Seattle.

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Going somewhere new is the best. But traveling, especially the actual travel part, can also do a number on the planet. Luckily there are some actions you can take, both big and small, to cut back your footprint when you’re on the road.

1. Transportation

How you get to where you’re going, and then how you get around once you’re there, will have the biggest impact on your environmental footprint. Air travel, for instance, accounts for almost 9 percent of global emissions, and a flight from New York to London emits 1.2 tons of carbon per person. That’s a lot. So consider your options. It might not sound as sexy, but you could have a great, cheap vacation closer to home. You could take a train or a ferry. Ferries are awesome — they’re like cruise ships for people who can think for themselves. If you do want to fly somewhere, or you have to go to Guam, try to fly directly.

Once you’re there, focus on public or human-powered transportation. Local buses can be the best way to get a feel for a new city, while biking gives you the speed to cover a lot of ground. Many cities now have bikeshares set up, w... Read more

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