You’re excited and planning a summer vacation. Only this year, your traveling priorities are a little different. You want a memorable trip, but you’d also like to cut your carbon footprint while enjoying your getaway. You’ve learned to save the environment at home by recycling, keeping your utility use at a minimum, and buying eco-friendly products. Now, you’d like to travel with the same standards. Here are some ways you can mind the earth while traveling.
1. Go Green
If you can avoid flying to your destination, you should. Airplanes use more fuel than any other mode of transportation. Consider taking a road trip with a hybrid vehicle. Or carpool with all of your travel companions, turn off the AC, and roll down the windows if you’re in cooler climates. Another earth-friendly option is traveling by train or bus. They both produce far less greenhouse emissions than airplanes.
If you must fly, remember to pack light to help with the plane’s fuel. The heavier the plane, the more fuel it’ll use. Also resist the urge to fly first class since you’ll use more resources than if you sit in coach.
2. Opt for Eco-Friendly Lodging
When booking a hotel, be sure to do your research first. There are tons of eco-certified hotels out there. They use energy-efficient electricity, low-flow toilets/showers, biodegradable soaps, and demand that you reuse your towels and sheets.
If you can’t find eco-certified lodging in your destination city, make green choices on your own. Refuse maid service by reusing your towels, making your own bed, and wiping down the bathroom counters with a wet wash cloth. Turn off the AC every time you leave the room and be conscious of the temperature when you go to bed at night.
3. Opt for Eco-Friendly Travel
Image via Flickr by boegh
When you’ve reached your destination, think about how you’ll get around without harming the environment. Walk when you can and rent a bike for longer distances. If you’re in a big city like Chicago or L.A., use public transportation instead of renting a car or taking a cab.
4. Arm Your Home
You probably worry about leaving your home for a week. You want to keep on all the lights and TVs on to deter a break in. Burglary is a scary fact of life but there are certainly more earth-friendly ways to prevent it.
It’s not necessary to leave on lights and electronics. Instead, arm your home with an alarm system. With motion detectors, wireless monitoring, and a 24/7 security call center, your home is safe without wasting a lot of energy. Time your lights and install dead bolts to your doors for energy-saving protection, too.
5. Environmental Travel Extras
Image via Flickr by Incase
There are many ways you can protect our beautiful world while traveling. In addition to transportation, lodging, and securing your home, here are some more eco-friendly tips for your travels.
- Find recycling bins around the city for your plastic bottles and food containers.
- Avoid chain restaurants. Go to locally owned eateries for tastier and earth-friendlier foods and services.
- Bring reusable drink bottles on your sight-seeing adventures.
- Look into getting travel insurance for vacation coverage to give you peace of mind.
- Bring your own toiletries instead of using those provided by the hotel.
Although traveling is fun and relaxing, it shouldn’t have to get in the way of Mother Nature. What are some ways you’ve traveled with our earth in mind?