. Environmentally Friendly Vacations Options - Go Carbon-Free on Your Next Cruise : ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine

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ROAD & TRAVEL Cruise Travel: Carbon Free Cruising

Go carbon-free on your next cruise

Carbon free cruising? Of course. With an increased interest in all things "green," including travel, people are scrambling to erase their carbon footprints. One small ship cruise operator, AdventureSmith Explorations, is leading the revolution by offering guests the opportunity to neutralize their carbon emissions on their next trip.

"As a long time naturalist and guide, I have witnessed first hand the effects global warming and climate change have on our planet."

"Most people are astonished to learn that over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are related to travel," says AdventureSmith Explorations founder Todd Smith. "As a long time naturalist and guide, especially in Alaska, I have witnessed first hand the effects global warming and climate change have on our planet. Glaciers are retreating, permafrost is melting, forest fires are more intense; entire ecosystems are being effected."

The campaign for carbon free cruising is simple in its implementation. To neutralize cruise related greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, the company will calculate the amount of carbon emitted by each small ship cruise itinerary it offers then divides that by the number of guests cruising each year. In turn, when a cruise is purchased, AdventureSmith Explorations contributes a portion of the cruise fare to Sustainable Travel International’s MyClimate carbon offset program to support climate friendly projects around the world; projects such as methane collection and electricity generation in South Africa, solar collectors instead of diesel boilers in Costa Rica, and weatherizing low income housing in the United States.

Furthermore, AdventureSmith Explorations’ Carbon Free Cruising campaign has no effect on the price of its cruises in any way. In other words, the cost of the campaign is not passed onto the traveler. However, after learning more about carbon emissions and the effects of travel on the environment, most travelers make an additional contribution to offset emissions resulting from their air travel. For example, each passenger's portion of an international flight emits nearly a ton, on average, of greenhouse gasses. This means that a round trip flight can emit more carbon than an automobile does in a year. Travelers are encouraged to make an additional contribution (typically only $10 to $50), making their entire journey by air and by sea “carbon free.”

“On an average 8-day Galapagos cruise, between 0.7 and 1.2 tons of CO2 are emitted on a per passenger basis. Antarctic icebreakers can emit a third-ton of CO2 per day per passenger. And of course, the effect of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is cumulative, so acting now has more impact than acting later,” says Smith. “Businesses in the U.S. don't currently have to account for their global climate change impacts from greenhouse gas emissions, travel related or otherwise, so [we're] taking direct responsibility for our impact through our campaign.”

But you don't have to be on a small ship, or a vacation, to offset your greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more on eco-friendly travel, visit RTM's Earth Tones section.

For more details on the eco-projects that MyClimate donations support, click here.
(Source: AdventureSmith)