Do you often wonder how much of an impact your traveling has on the environment? While it may occasionally slip your mind, okay maybe always, that special vacation you’ve been planning has more of an effect on the environment than you think. What does green or environmentally friendly travel entail exactly? Glad you asked; green travel includes responsible travel practices including means of transportation, local purchasing/spending, environmental conservation, and an efficient or conservative use of natural resources. While some of these might not make complete sense in terms of budget or geographic area, these following “Green Travel Tips” are sure to help you offset your carbon footprint.
- - Bikes, walking, and public transit over taxis. It’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly, a definite no brainer.
- - Rent a hybrid or economic sized car if you rent.
- - If flying, only purchase non-stop flights. The most emissions are produced during take-off and landing.
- - Buy local whenever possible. After all, you are traveling to experience another culture; aren’t you?
- - Eat local, vegetarian, or sustainable. Shop at a farmer’s market or dine at restaurants that use local ingredients. It’s not only more environmentally friendly, fresher, and healthier, it also helps benefit the local community.
- - Purchase a local view point. Okay you can’t actually purchase one, but you can adopt a new view point on a vacation. Respect the local culture, accept differences, and even try to learn to speak some of the language. It could be a simple “Hola,” “Bonjour,” or even “Sup Brah?!” Sure, you might get a few giggles here and there but what’s the fun in not trying?
- - Engage in environmental conservation & wildlife conservation activities during your vacation. Some activities include hiking trail maintenance, beach clean ups, even patrolling beaches for poachers. You’ll learn new things about the area you are visiting all while helping the planet and hopefully catching some rays.
- - Go on an Eco-Friendly Volunteer Vacation. You can protect dolphins in Greece, study climate change in the Artic, explore the Rockies on the Colorado Trail, or even help preserve Cheetahs in Namibia.
Natural Resource Use
- - Reduce, reuse, and recycle! Even if it means saving your recyclable waste and recycling it elsewhere.
- - Stay at a “Green Hotel.” Look for hotels that are TripAdvisor GreenLeaders or certified green. These types of hotels balance environmental protection and social responsibility by keeping track of their energy usage, environmentally educating their employees, and having a recycling program in place.
While some of these “Green Tips” might be unattainable for your next vacation, many of these are achievable with small conscious effort. Reduce your carbon footprint while traveling (or even not) with these tips and be sure to plan ahead to ensure an eco-friendly vacation.