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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 17, 2009

Save the planet and some money with tips from scientists

Advertiser staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Paradise Helicopters is offering tours of Big Island splendors at a discount.

Courtesy of Paradise Helicopters

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Courtesy of Aloha Masks

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The Union of Concerned Scientists offers these tips for green travel and says some of the greenest choices can also save money.

  • For trips of more than 500 miles, if you travel solo or with one other person, it's greener to fly direct in coach than to drive.

  • First-class seating uses more space than coach, so the average first-class passenger on a domestic flight generates twice as much carbon as someone seated in coach, UCS says. Budget airlines with no first-class seats can lower a plane's per-person emissions 10 to 15 percent.

  • Compared with flying coach, a couple traveling by bus will cut their trip's carbon dioxide emissions 55 to 75 percent, depending on the distance traveled. Compared to even a fuel-efficient hybrid car, a bus trip would cut a couple's trip emissions nearly in half. Bus travel is usually less expensive than flying and for a solo traveler can be cheaper than driving.

  • Trains emit 60 percent less carbon per passenger-mile than a typical car with one occupant. And compared with a 500-mile trip on a small jet plane, a train emits roughly 30 percent less carbon. Trains also can save money by dropping you in city centers, so you don't need a taxi or rental car to get into town.

  • An SUV emits nearly four times the amount of carbon dioxide emissions of a highly efficient hybrid such as a Toyota Prius, and uses nearly four times the amount of gas.

  • Traveling off-peak lowers your carbon footprint and travel bills. Spending less time in traffic means better mileage and lower fuel bills; flying off-peak means your plane won't be wasting fuel in a holding pattern and your ticket could be cheaper. More at tinyurl.com/5uzj9u.



    Big Island volcanic activity has had an exceptional year. Visitors to the Big Island can get a bird's-eye view of some of the planet's newest landscape with Paradise Helicopters, which is offering 20 percent off all its Big Island tours. Discounted tours include the Jack's Lava House Landing tour, a 75-minute adventure that flies passengers to see the lava from the air and then lands for a 30-minute self-guided walk out on to the lava field, $212.62 per person. Other tours include the Waipi'o Valley, rainforest, waterfall and Kohala coastline adventures. 866-876-7422, www.paradisecopters.com.



    For Hawai'i travelers who opt to wear a respirator mask to help avoid exposure to illness such as the H1N1 flu virus, there are Aloha Masks.

    Aloha Masks are safety-rated respirator masks with aloha designs. They're made from top-of-the-line NIOSH-certified N95 respiratory masks, recommended for protection against transmission viruses like the flu. Aloha Masks are custom-printed in Hawai'i with a non-toxic, skin-safe and odor-free design.

    Enterprising Island travelers wanted a way to help make their young kids a little more comfortable about wearing a mask and taking safety precautions, which blossomed into an idea to put a little aloha into staying healthy. The mask comes in a red, black or green hibiscus design and costs $9.50 (a portion of proceeds from each mask sold goes to a Hawai'i charity). www.alohamasks.com, 382-0406.