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Reader's Digest

IN OUR HANDS

Simple Ways We Can All Be Champions of the Earth

By Lisa Goodman

Travel Light--Imagine if you could undo the environmental damage you cause each time you travel (think of all the pollution spewed out by your plane or car). Where most people would see nothing but disaster, Mitch Rofsky of Portland, Oregon, saw an opportunity. In 2002, he and partner Todd Silberman founded the Better World Club,the nation's only eco-friendly travelers' club. "We like to think of ourselves as a 21st Century auto club," says Rofsky. "We balance people's transportation needs with their concerns for the environement." besides the ususal roadside assistance provided by other programs, Better World offers a range of services for environmentally conscious travelers. Since carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming is a chief by-product of transportation, BetterWorld has a "carbon-offset" program that lets you fight global warming while you fly or drive. When you book a flight or insure a car through the club, you earn one carbon-offset worth 411. Better World spend that money onprojects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, from planting trees to retrofitting buildings with eco-friendly heating and cooling systems. To cap it off, Better World donates 1 percent of its annual revenue to environmental causes.