Your Carbon Footprint
- Calculate your carbon footprint with the California Carbon Calculator.
- Check out new 2012 COOL Car Free Discounts Promotion!
|What is a carbon footprint?
The term "carbon footprint" refers to the amount of carbon emissions produced by an activity. Carbon emissions (also referred to as greenhouse gases) contribute to global climate change.
Your carbon footprint is your personal contribution to the global climate change problem. Two factors will play a major role in the size of your carbon footprint: your use of energy in your home, and your transportation choices.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Cars are a major source of carbon emissions. Driving less is one simple way to reduce the size of your carbon footprint. Go car free, and:
- Use human-powered transportation when you can (bicycling or walking).
- Share travel with other people. Take buses, shuttles or trains instead of driving.
Airplanes release greenhouse gases in the stratosphere, where they can do proportionately more harm. The aviation industry is cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions from planes, and increased efficiencies in fuel use will also cut overall emissions.
If you have no alternative, here are some ideas to minimize the emissions:
- Make a different choice for part of your travel itinerary. Then when you arrive at your destination, go car free!
- If you have a choice between types of airplanes, research their emissions.
- Purchase carbon credits to offset the emissions (check out the providers first).
Getting Started with the Car Free ExperienceTwo things to remember:
- This doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. If you replace just one car trip with a car-free trip, you're on the way.
- Car Free-dom is fun. Picture yourself strolling down State Street, or hopping on the 25-cent electric shuttle - or enjoying the beautiful California coast from the window of the train. Imagine a traffic-free, parking-free vacation.
Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Eco-Tourism
Whatever term you use, it's about tourism practices that result in net benefits to the area - from environmental, economic, and socio-cultural perspectives.
From the traveler's point of view, it's about making your trip in a way that minimizes negative impacts and maximizes positive impacts - to the environment and the community.
When you travel car free, for example, you are not just not producing vehicle emissions, you are also supporting the alternative transportation network in the community.
For more tips, and more about global climate change, see this page on the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District website. The District is the founder and leader of the Santa Barbara Car Free project, a cooperative initiative with more than 100 community and business partners — all dedicated to promoting car free transportation to and around the Santa Barbara region for cleaner air and a healthier planet.