Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 335 of our Green Year: Taking The Train

While Layla and I have committed to taking Staycations this year, in the future we will need to travel a long distance for a variety of reasons. For example, next year we are planning on visiting some close friends of ours in Ontario. That is about 3,000 kilometers away from us, and that begs the question, how should we go to visit these friends? Should we take a car? plane? train?

If Elizabeth May, the leader of the federal Green Party, has taught us anything, it is that taking the train is green. For the election year, she toured the country by train instead of plane and was the first politician to do so in the past 50 years. How much greener is it to take a train from Alberta to Ontario? Much Greener! According to several studies, taking a train creates one-tenth (10 percent) of the emissions that a plane does. While a plane creates 140 to 158 CO2 grams per kilometer, a train only creates 44.

Now, what about driving that distance? Surely a car uses less CO2 than a plane, but it is greener than a train? Turns out it is. While a train creates 44 grams of CO2 per kilometer, a car creates 118!

So, to be green when we visit our close friends in Ontario, or when we have to travel a long distance to see family, we will be going by train. We understand not everyone can do this because taking a train is more expensive, but we can and that is why we choose to.