Eco-Tourism: Offsetting Our Road-trip Emissions


A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I took a road-trip down to Worcester MA to take a holiday, visit some friends, and attend Readercon (the latter was just me, Mike went to Walden Pond instead). As we are a car-free household, we rented a car for the trip–making sure to get the smallest, most fuel-efficient car they could provide us with.

To calculate the greenhouse gas emissions for the 1636 kms we drove over the 5-day period I consulted a couple of websites. First, to determine the fuel-efficiency of the vehicle we rented I went to the handy site that the US government runs: According to this site, our rental car had a fuel-economy of 26 miles per gallon on highways (and our driving was mostly highway driving).

Taking this information I then went to the US/Swiss-based non-profit Sustainable Travel International. Using their handy travel calculator our emissions came out to 0.346 tons of CO2. For $5.28 US, I was able to offset these emissions through donating to projects that have been verified to reduce the global GHG load, primarily through supporting renewable energy production.

I would have liked to use a Canadian organization to offset my GHG emissions but was unable to find one that works with individual consumers (I consulted the Ecobusiness directory). If anyone knows of one please comment.

6 thoughts on “Eco-Tourism: Offsetting Our Road-trip Emissions

  • Hi Alette,

    Love your site! Thank you for providing so much detailed practical information. I recently heard a CBC radio discussion of carbon offsets in which they warned that tree-planting schemes (just one type of offset program) are not always a good idea, because with climate change happening they don’t know what kinds of forests will thrive in the future. I guess this just translates to mean that we need to do our research on organizations providing offsets, though that could be a challenge _ I for one don’t really know how to judge them. Sorry, I couldn’t find a link to this radio discussion online.


  • There is a Canadian project out of Vancouver. The website is at “”. I found it on a CBC “The National” video on the web. This I found by searching the CBC under “archive” and “carbon offsetting”. Cheers! Denice

  • You should definitely continue too!

    Imagine how amazing it would be if there were a whole community of on-line, green-living bloggers sharing their knowledge, their experiences, and above all their commitment with each other and with the world wide web. With all this blogging we might just begin tipping the balance towards sustainable living in Ottawa.

    P.S. I’m adding your blog to my blog-roll and adding a link to your comment above.

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