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Are You Traveling Carbon Neutral?

An eco–friendly lodge in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. (Courtesy Courtesy marinakvillatoro/Flickr)

Hotels for every budget are implementing carbon–neutral policies, from the luxe Leading Hotels of the World to budgetplaces.com, a booking engine offering hotels world–wide starting around $30 for a double room. The site gives travelers the option to make their stay carbon neutral for about 65 cents per person per night, and you can choose which project to fund, including wind farms and solar plants.

Airlines are getting in on the action, too. Costa Rica's Nature Air bills itself as the world's first carbon–neutral airline, and the company purchases carbon offsets for every gallon of fuel burned, and flies fuel–efficient turbo props. Richard Branson and his Virgin fleet have been at the forefront of carbon offset and alternative fuel research. Travelers flying Virgin America can offset their flights through carbonfund.org for just a few dollars. For example, a New York to San Francisco flight is $10 to offset, roundtrip.

Want to figure out just how much carbon that flight used? Native Energy has a travel carbon calculator. We were shocked to learn that a flight from New York to London generates four tons of CO2! The money goes to fund projects like wind farms in Iowa and projects to collect methane gas from landfills.

Is it important to you to offset your travels? Let us know in the comments!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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