Take the Train: Reduce Your Holiday Travel Emissions

The busy holiday season is a big traveling time for many folks. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of your travel and want to reduce your carbon emissions, considering taking the train!

Train = Reduced CO2

It’s obvious by now that any mode of transport (other than walking and biking, pretty much) will result in increased carbon emissions, but the train has proved to be the lesser of environmental evils when compared to the automobile or plane. There are several calculators out there that will give you side-by-side comparisons to make the picture clearer.

Fact is, the train is the best choice for the ecologically-minded traveler. Here in the US, passenger train travel is provided by Amtrak. Unfortunately, the US rail system is quite underdeveloped compared to those of other countries (Japan, and all over Europe), but most major cities are served by Amtrak. Check out Amtrak’s website for route information and price details. They typically have special deals advertised on their website, so you may find that your travel is discounted, as well.

Other train travel benefits

Despite how much longer it takes to get anywhere on the train, there are many benefits to train travel other than reduced carbon emissions. When was the last time you took a plane and it actually departed on time? Do you look forward to the tedious security before even getting near the airplane? The train is an overall much more pleasant traveling experience with its lack of frequent delays and overbearing security. Do you suffer from jet lag? Although the train is slow, you have time to relax and adjust to changing time zones. Not only that, you get a great view of the countryside during your journey.

Every winter, I take the train from Illinois to New York to visit family. It is a two day journey. However, I never worry if my train is going to be delayed, or if I will be harassed by security officials. When I sit on the train, I can sleep and relax, and watch the sights. The whole experience is incredibly less tense than taking a flight. (Did I mention the seats are roomier on a train, too?)

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Perhaps you’d like to do something different and take the train this holiday seasons. Consider the smaller carbon footprint you’ll have as a result!

 

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