As many of you know, my wife and I traveled by Amtrak again this year across the country for the holidays. Last year we took it from Los Angeles to Chicago, and this year we went from Albuquerque all the way to Boston.
For all your environmental talk, Amtrak, you sure don’t do a good job of doing any on-board greening of the trains.
There, I said it. On their website, Amtrak prides itself on how “green” they are – which they are kind of by nature just in being a train. Trains are more 17% more efficient than airline travel and 21% more efficient than auto travel on a per-passenger-mile basis; you get much more bang for your buck, so to say. Amtrak also is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world’s first legally-binding integrated greenhouse gas reduction and trading system. They are reducing their diesel emissions, working on making their trains more fuel-efficient, reducing the time locomotives idle in place, and are substituting electric trains for diesel ones along certain corridors – all of which are great things to be doing. But where they are failing is inside the train, where the passengers are.
OK so at this point you might be wondering what exactly I am talking about here, so lets take a look at the “non-green” experiences we had on the train:
So while your trains are more efficient than traveling by air or car, and you are certainly doing your part to increase your efficiencies, I am afraid you are neglecting a big part of your environmental footprint – the inside of your trains. And as much as I wanted to, I could not have lugged all that plastic off the train myself, so it went right in the trash, where it was probably headed straight for a landfill in whatever city we stopped in. I will be copying this post into a letter to be sent to all of the Big Wigs at Amtrak, but if you happen to read it here first – can you please do something to clean up what goes on inside as well as outside of your trains? You know where to find me if you want to talk…and until then, I hope our next trip is even “greener” than this one was!
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