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How to Make Your Travel 'Greener'

Being "green" doesn't mean you have to stay put. You just have to find a greener way to travel.

You can reduce your carbon footprint -- the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases your daily activities emit -- by purchasing carbon offsets and choosing low-carbon transportation both en route and at your final destination.

Offsetting Your Travel

Whether you fly or drive to your destination, your trip will increase your personal carbon footprint. One easy way to assuage your guilt is by buying carbon offsets. The idea is to offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by your travel by financing projects that add clean energy to the power grid and reduce the overall demand for fossil fuels.

Both TerraPass and Native Energy sell easy-to-use travel-specific offsets. Both companies offer offsets that support wind energy, farm power and landfill gas capture.

TerraPass offers a standard portfolio that is a mixture of the three types of alternative energy projects, but you can build your own portfolio if you prefer. With Native Energy, you can choose 100% wind power, 100% methane or a 50/50 split of wind power and methane.

TerraPass and Native Energy use slightly different methods to calculate your carbon footprint. To review their specific methodologies, check here for TerraPass; go here for Native Energy and follow the link for "How do we calculate this?"

TerraPass calculates your carbon footprint in pounds. Flying one person roundtrip from Boston to Kingston, Jamaica, creates 1,791 pounds of CO2. To offset the damage with TerraPass would cost $11.90.

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