How to reduce carbon emissions when flying

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This video from BBC news discusses some of the ways you can reduce carbon emissions while flying:

  1. Avoid flying
  2. Fly direct
  3. Fly economy
  4. Pack light
  5. Use local airports

When you live in a country as large as Canada, avoiding flying may not be an option. I will be taking the train from Halifax to Ottawa in June for a birthday trip; the leg from Halifax to Montreal is 18 hours. In Europe, an 18-hour train ride would probably cover a few countries. Mind you, it’s not an ultra fast train. Train travel in Canada is not very good and can be much more expensive than flying. Driving several hours is also not a very comfortable option. Someone I knew drove from the south of Denmark to Italy in about 20 hours; it took me 18 hours of driving to travel from Toronto to Halifax when I moved here (a two-day trip with two overnight stays). The other four alternatives mentioned above are more feasible in Canada.

Another option, which I am interested in exploring, is to compensate your carbon footprint by donating money to environmental causes. There are a number of companies that can help you do this. These companies usually provide tools to help you determine the carbon footprint of your mode of travel. So, for example, a flight from Halifax to Montreal for one person equals a  CO2 amount: 0.392 tonnes. Based on this CO2 amount, the company will ask you to donate a set amount to contribute to an environmental project, e.g., reforestation in Nicaragua. The company MyClimate, for example, calculates a contribution of $11 USD for a Halifax to Montreal flight. it’s important to choose companies that have Gold Standard certification,  as this ensures that key environmental criteria have been met by offset projects that carry its label. Only offsets from energy efficiency and renewable-energy projects qualify for the Gold Standard, as these projects encourage a shift away from fossil-fuel use and carry inherently low environmental risks.  There are two Canadian companies that offer Gold Standard offsets;

I could find only one Canadian airline that has a carbon offsetting program, namely Air Canada (which uses Less). This site lists airline companies that have carbon offsetting programs.

I have been meaning to use these carbon offsetting programs; it’s time I put this into practice.

 

Vegan treats in Halifax

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A friend of mine asked me about vegan sweet treats she could take as a hostess gift, which got me thinking that this would make an ideal blog post. I’ve focused on locally-made vegan treats.

Rousseau Chocolatier provides some good vegan options for chocolate bonbons. Dark chocolate is usually vegan, and those filled with nuts or fruits would be fine. Another option is the dark chocolate bars.

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Springhouse makes exclusively vegan products. For sweet goods, the following would all be suitable:

  • Cashew cheesecake: strawberry, Blueberry, Mango Pineapple, Mocha or Maple Almond. The cheesecake is usually sold by the slice, but you can order a whole cheesecake.
  • Chocolate almond bar: one of their most popular products.
  • Caramel brownie bar
  • Lemon bar
  • Mint chip bar

Sweet Hereafter Bakery always has one daily vegan cheesecake. I’ve tried every vegan option, and all are delicious. The cheesecake is sold by the slice, but you can order a whole cheesecake. Their vegan options are plentiful:

  • Vegan Amaretto
  • Vegan Black Forest
  • Vegan Carrot Cake
  • Vegan Chocolate Oreo
  • Vegan Chocolate Raspberry
  • Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Vegan Oreo
  • Vegan Macaroon
  • Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate
  • Vegan Strawberry Vanilla

Humani-T Cafe has a good variety of vegan gelato that you can order by the pint. The cafe makes a good chocolate vegan cake that you can order in advance.

Vandal Doughnuts has a large variety of vegan doughnuts. This bakery is extremely popular and often has long queues of customers waiting outside the door, and for good reason, as their doughnuts are delicious. Vegan options include:

  • Vegan cookie monster
  • Vegan raspberry lemon
  • Vegan Oreo twist
  • Vegan apple fritter
  • Vegan homer
  • Vegan Boston cream
  • Vegan chocolate and peanut butter
  • Vegan strawberry vanilla
  • Vegan harbour fog
  • Vegan lemon square
  • Vegan cinnamon twist
  • Vegan blueberry fritter

The Petite Baker is run by a friend of mine. Elizabeth can make custom vegan cakes for any occasion.

Luscious Desserts is an exclusively vegan bakery that makes a variety of cupcakes, cakes, macarons, and chocolates.

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Big Life in Dartmouth makes a variety of vegan cookies, including:

  • Vegan spelt date squares
  • Vegan spelt raisin cookies
  • Vegan spelt chocolate chip cookies

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Wild Leek has a variety of vegan baked goods that you can order, including brownies, cupcakes, and cookies. Wild Leek is exclusively vegan.

The Heartwood restaurant has a variety of vegan desserts and treats. I’m not sure whether you can order in advance, but a quick phone call should sort that out.  Options include:

  • Cocobanana pie
  • Carrot cake
  • Mocha almond cheesecake
  • Peanut butter cheesecake