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Are offsets enough? What else can travelers do?

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on April 5, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, eco travel, Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Zak Patten.

None of the people interviewed for this story felt that voluntary offsets alone were enough to compensate for the amount of carbon we're currently putting into the atmosphere. Director of Global Consulting Services for EcoSecurities Dr. Mark Trexler believes that "the retail offsets market ... is probably more significant for what it can accomplish in promoting long-term public policy and in driving corporate action on climate change, than in directly reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

For those who want to make carbon offsets a part of their future travels, the information above should be a good starting point. For travelers who want to do even more, responsibletravel.com has a list of tips that begin with carbon offsets but includes other environmental, cultural, and social measures to, in its words, "maximize the benefits and minimize the negative effects of tourism."

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As Chris Doyle says of offsets, "This is not the silver bullet that is going to stem severe climate change, but it will help. I would encourage every individual who travels, even just to and from their houses every day, to offset their carbon footprint on the earth."

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