International Travel Can Enlarge Your Footprint

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Is it time to start planning your next green adventure?

International traveling is carbon intensive and will definitely enlarge your carbon footprint for the year- when you consider the jet fuel needed to just to lift you and all your luggage great distances.  But these days, there a tons of options to enjoy global travel while minimizing your carbon footprint.

Imagine this real life scene – The air tastes a little sweeter here because the neighboring countries have been focusing on green Bikepolicies and have made remarkable headway in the reduction of their greenhouse gases and carbon output. The quaint houses you pass make you yearn for a cozy retreat in the area with neighbors so friendly you feel like they are family. Ancient churches, inviting pubs, and eateries dot the landscape.  All brimming with that unique European mix of ancient and modern times.  There are wonderful bike routes all around, each with its own set of incredible views.

Is this just another dream?  Nope.  You’re biking in Scandinavia.

Living a green lifestyle is core to the Scandinavian culture, with Denmark leading the way, along with its neighbors Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Biking is not only healthy and fun, but it’s a great way to see any city, town or countryside.  Its been my experience that oftentimes, in these countries, the biking signs and routes are better than the road signs.

Copenhagen is so biker friendly that it has won international awards and continually commits itself to going even more green. Currently 20% of all trips in this city, ranging from going to the supermarket to the movies to a friend’s house, occur on a bicycle.  What’s more, over a third of commuters hop on two wheels to get to work because its more convenient, efficient, cheaper, and most importantly, fun.   The city designers have purposely designed thoroughfares in favor of bikes, just to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home.

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The goal is for 50% of commuters to bike to work in the city by 2015.

Biking is not just for the young or the old.  Everyone does it – 9 out of 10 Danes own and regularly use a bike.

In America most bikes have a standard everyday look and their personalities seem a little dull, but in Denmark people go all out with them. Just take a look at how stylish and fun these bikes are, and you’ll understand why in Scandinavia biking isn’t just a mode of transportation, but a way of self-expression that people love. Many European cities now have bike share programs that allow you to easily rent a bike for a few hours and drop it off at a convenient destination. (Green Blizzard Bike Share article).   So next time you’re visiting a city, check into this option before you go and stay out of the cab or car and get to know the city better.  (Google worldwide map of cities that have bike share programs)

When you are knowledgable that international travel can enlarge your footprint, you can be more mindful of carbon reducing actions. Consider one of these biking touring outfitters for an adventure of a lifetime:  Back Roads, ButterfieldAustin Lehman,  Trek, or VBT

See these Green Blizzard articles on green living tips and how to reduce your carbon footprint: BikeShare, Houseplants Purify Your Air,  Is Going Paperless Worth It, eBook Carbon Footprint Breakeven

 



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About the author

John R. Garnet

John's work in the energy market fostered his interest in the environment. He recently completed his graduate work at George Mason University, But more interestingly, John has a passion for food and cooking and to provides some light-hearted tips to make people's lives greener while enjoy the good life with everyday practical tips from brewing tea, growing basil, or drinking raw milk.