Calculating the carbon footprint of my summer travels

Days are long, schools are empty and the sun is shining. Summer is here!

Whether it’s driving to the mountains or coast, flying across the country, or going abroad, more and more people are traveling: This summer the average American plans to increase their summer travel by 8 to 9% this year.

Author Lindsay Fromme on one of many summer adventures—about to launch her boat on the Sauk River in Darrington, WA

If you’re like me, you’re itching to get on the road and enjoy summer vacation. As the Project Manager for our Evergreen Carbon Capture program (ECC), I can’t help but wonder how all of these additional travel miles are adding up. How much fuel am I burning to get where I’m going? How much more carbon am I contributing to the environment?

Forterra’s new carbon calculator lets me figure out exactly that. I tested it on my vacation plans and found that my round trip flight to New York is responsible for 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide—that’s just my share as a single passenger, not the entire plane! And if I drive out to the Cascade Mountains from Seattle 10 times this summer, that’s another ton of carbon dioxide emissions.


Looking at the carbon footprint of my summer activities, I think ahead to winter. Will this coming winter have as little snow as the last?

Seeing the actual carbon numbers produced by my summer vacation makes the connection between my personal lifestyle and climate change more tangible. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever leave town again…but it does make me reflect on ways to reduce or mitigate the footprint of my travels.

You, too, can assess the carbon footprint of your travel plans with Forterra’s carbon calculator. Afterward, you can choose to mitigate that amount by contributing to Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program. Our ECC program will plant the appropriate number of evergreen trees throughout the region to counterbalance your footprint.

Covering your carbon footprint with ECC is a way to enjoy your vacation wherever you may roam, while giving back to this place we are so lucky to call home.

Carbon Calculator for summer travels
The tons of carbon created from Lindsay’s trips to the East Coast and the mountains.
  • Lindsay Fromme

    Lindsay’s formative years were spent in New York City, suburban New York and rural Pennsylvania. She has since called Vermont, California and Washington home. Putting roots down in Seattle has allowed her to pursue her outdoor passions of skiing, hiking, mountain biking and river rafting. When she’s not on a mountain or a river, she can be found cooking new recipes with friends and exploring new places with her partner Luke and their dog Yogi.