I Took a 40-Hour Train Trip to Reduce My Carbon Footprint.

via NASA

via NASA

In March, I was invited to speak at a “Jewish Feminisms” conference, so I tried an experiment: I hauled myself from Denver, Colorado to Ann Arbor, Michigan—all on a long-distance Amtrak train. The journey was 2,460 miles; including delays, it took me over 40 hours to get there and over 35 hours to get back.  

Being on a train for that long was mind-numbingly boring most of the time. I found myself wanting to jump off at several points. There were weird smells, and the food was awful.

And yet, according to this nifty little carbon footprint calculator, taking the train resulted in a carbon footprint of 0.05 metric tons. If I had flown, my carbon footprint for this trip would have been 0.81 metric tons, which is more than 16 times the carbon.

One comment on “I Took a 40-Hour Train Trip to Reduce My Carbon Footprint.

  1. Henrietta on

    I love train travel too, except trains can be up to 12 hours late; that’s because freight trains have the right-of-way, due to rules set by the Fed. Transportation Agency, I believe. Amtrak is govt-owned; many smaller towns have lost Amtrak service due to lack of funding.

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