With Rio de Janeiro's Carnival in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup a few months after that, dozens of tourists are starting to book flights. Despite the excitement, there's a giant eco-nomic cost to taking these transcontinental Co2 confetti poppers. Every flight to Brazil sends 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere (departing from the U.S. or Europe). Some travelers might displace the eco-guilt of airplanes with carbon offsets, but how much fun is that? We found "tourists" making their way to South America without using fossil fuels. As we often say here at Sierra, "it's not easy being green." But whether walking, sailing, or biking, Brazil is just a hop, skipper, and a pedal away.
John Francis boycotted motorized vehicles after witnessing the 1971 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. He walked for all of his needs, from attending university in Montana, to working in Washington, D.C. John wanted to travel to Latin America to see the rainforest. Instead of walking all that way, he worked on a sailboat, visiting Venezuela and other areas of the Caribbean without draining a drop of oil.
Sailing is also the fastest way to get to Brazil without fossil fuels. Some claim to have sailed from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Brazil in just 23 days, and it can probably be done even faster. For sailors on the West Coast, crossing the Panama Canal with their sail boat is an option, though we assume that the hydraulic locks used to lift ships across the canal do create carbon emissions.