Air travel is one of the safest and quickest ways to travel, but if you're eco-minded, it can also come with some guilt. Unfortunately, air travel produces a large quantity of pollution. While some airports offer carbon offsets to help compensate for the pollution of your air trip, there are other steps you can take to and from the airport to reduce the amount of pollution you produce.
Many rental car companies know that they have eco-friendly customers, and they're changing their vehicle selection to accommodate them. If you need to rent a car, ask about hybrid and electric or high miles per gallon, efficient vehicles that will reduce the amount of pollution you create on the way to and from the airport. If you rent an electric car, ask your rental dealer for a map of the areas you'll be driving through that provide electric recharging stations.
As an added bonus, you will most likely save money on the cost of refueling your vehicle, since it'll use less gas than a traditional car.
Shuttle services are in high demand these days because of their efficiency, timeliness, and cleanliness. Whether you need a shuttle to pick you up at your home or hotel or after you drop off a rental car, chances are that there's a service that suits your needs.
There are a few things that make shuttles more eco-friendly than their alternatives. Shuttles carry multiple people so they're not all on the road creating pollution individually. In addition, many shuttles have switched to electric, hybrid, or biodiesel fuel in order to produce little to no pollution themselves. Before you settle on a shuttle company, ask them what they're doing to reduce the amount of pollution they create.
Taking the train or subway to and from the airport can reduce the emissions you create. While it may not be possible to take the train to the airport from your home, many train services go directly from the airport to major city and hotel hubs. For example, if you're in the San Francisco Bay area, their rapid transit train system travels directly from the San Francisco International Airport to downtown San Francisco. Light rail trains also go directly from the Seattle-Tacoma airport to downtown Seattle. Check your airport's website to find out if they have a rail system and how to utilize it.
Flying is sometimes the best or only choice to travel, and there aren't low-emission flight options at this time. Instead, focus on what you produce before and after you travel, and it'll eventually balance out.