Planes, Trains, Automobiles: Which Is Better for the Earth?

By Valerie Smock
11/14/2013 10:13:59 AM

Thanksgiving is one of the most heavily traveled holidays. If you care about the environment, you realize that isn't good news.

"It doesn't matter whether you're traveling by train in China or by car in the United States or by airplane between Europe and Russia, every time you travel, whether it's by plane, train or automobile, you're burning some kind of fossil fuel to propel you over all those miles and that CO2 is ending up in the atmosphere," said Dave Biello, editor for Scientific American.

Many people are turning to ethanol or biodiesel, but that doesn't solve the problem. Those fuels from crops could mean more expenses for the consumer of corn-based foods.

Flying isn't the best option either. If you are flying on a jet with biofuel, then you are better off. The U.S. Air Force and Boeing are some of the few testing this as a way to lower emissions.

If traveling, the best options is by train. Trains have been hybrid since before the 1950s and they carry a lot more passengers for every gallon of diesel burned.