Eco-friendly Tips for Getting to the Airport

From Cab Shares to Public Transit to Airport shuttles

Get to the airport green

Certainly your flight is going to be the biggest carbon brown spot on your vacation or business trip, but your carbon footprint doesn’t just start to grow the moment you step foot in the airplane. Getting to the airport can be a drain on your carbon bank account, especially if you’re driven there by Aunt Anne or you take a regular taxi. In the US, as in many parts of the world, cars and trucks are the primary mode of transportation, with over 1,793 billion miles added to residential odometers on average annually![1]

But with so many green ways to get to the airport, there’s no reason to despair! Let us show you how to green your travels even further by using eco-friendly, low-carbon methods of transporting you and your bags to the terminal.


Take public transportation

As one of the greenest modes of transportation (using people-power is the best option, but carrying your bags on the back of your bike might be a challenge), public transportation offers many benefits. Not only does it take the stress of driving out of your hands, it is also likely cheaper than expending your own gas and paying to park your vehicle.

And of course, public transit results in much lower carbon emissions, with potential annual savings (if you take it year-round) between 10% and 30%.[2] Add to these benefits the fact that public transit also minimizes the need for infrastructure expansion and the many benefits that brings (land-use efficiency, resource savings, reductions in urban sprawl, preservation of local communities, etc), and you’ve got a winning choice!

If you’re not a regular public transit user, why not check with your local public transit provider to see whether the bus or rapid transit system delivers people to the airport?


Choose cab share programs and airport shuttles

A default mode of transportation for many bound for the airport is the cab, but taxis aren’t always the greenest vehicles on the road. Ride-sharing programs to the rescue! Buddying up by either sharing a cab or hooking up with an airport shuttle service means you’ll reduce the per-ride emissions for each of you in the vehicle.

Finding an airport shuttle can be as simple as doing a search online for “airport shuttle + <your city>”. But how does cab sharing work? Riders pay a flat fare to be picked up at designated share stops, with stops determined by GPS data for the busiest routes. Like public transportation, by spreading the cost across several passengers cab share programs could save you money, and as long as you don’t have to stand in the rain, should be relatively convenient. Several taxi sharing programs are now available, including CabEasy, Ride Amigos, and Hitchsters, although these services are primarily available in larger centers.


Choose a green cab or limo service

If you don’t like the idea of sharing a confined cab ride with total strangers, there’s always the option of choosing a green cab or limo service to get you to the airport. These companies provide private rides (and shared rides in many cases, too), but they’ll get you there in a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Some specialize in hybrid cars and SUVs, while others stress the use of biofuels. There are no international green cab programs, so your best bet is to do an online search for “green cabs” in your area.

Now that you’ve got your green trip to the airport wrapped up, let’s talk green airlines!


[1] Facts on Public Transportation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2010, from American Public Transportation Association:
[2] Vehicle-Miles Traveled. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2010, from Energy Information Administration:

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