Joan Wilder: Journalist, Writer, Editor

Erasing another kind of footprint?

Erasing Another Kind of Footprint? by Joan Wilder Since celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt have made headlines for their attempts to erase the effects of the greenhouse gases they generate by driving, flying, and buying, the trend to go “carbon neutral” is taking off.

Now, travelers booking vacations through Travelocity can “Go Zero” by offsetting all or part of the CO2 their trips generate — by having trees planted. The first online travel company to partner with the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero initiative, Travelocity is offering users a simple way to contribute to the fund’s tree planting initiative at the same time they book their vacation. With a few clicks of the mouse (and twinges of the pocketbook), users can learn how many $5 trees will “zero out” trips of various lengths. Travelocity also has a link to the “Go Zero website”: http://www.conservationfund.org/?article=3128, where you can learn that each tree will absorb approximately 1.33 tons of carbon dioxide over 100 years – a volume roughly equal to the emissions produced by an average automobile traveling 3,000 miles — and lots more.

In other environmental news, dozens of newspapers this month have picked up an Associated Press article by Michael Weller reporting that ski resorts are lobbying legislators in Washington to fight global warming. According to Weller, more than 45 resorts in 14 states across the country are using some clean energy, and 16 are meeting 100 percent of their energy needs from green sources, such as wind, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, and geothermal.

Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association, told the AP: “I think we’re a platform industry. When you think of global warming the first thing you think of is snowfall and wintertime and how that changes.”

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