School is out until August; the sun is shining; and adventure and relaxation are calling. You may already do several things at home to live a “green” lifestyle, like recycling, bicycling or cutting down on water and electricity use, but do you consider these things while travelling, as well? There are several ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint while on vacation. Check out our top three tips below.
Consider carpooling or group transportation. If everyone takes individual vehicles on vacation, it adds up to a greater carbon footprint than transporting large numbers of people via plane, bus, train, etc. When flying, go non-stop. If renting a car, choose the smallest car that will work or even a hybrid. If you do drive yourself, inflate your tires correctly and change your filters to make your car as efficient as possible, and use the cruise control when you are on your way.
Once you reach your destination, get creative with ways to get around. Can you take your bike, skateboard or scooter with you on vacation? Instead of relying on taxis, get some exercise by walking or taking advantage of bike share programs now offered in many cities.
Choose a hotel with green initiatives. A simple internet search should inform you of a hotel’s energy- and water-saving measures, or you can call the hotel to ask before booking. Take it a step further by reusing your towels and opting not to have your sheets replaced every day.
If you’re enjoying the outdoors by camping or boating for instance, make sure you leave the area as pristine as you found it and only light a campfire where permitted. You can pack designated trash and recycling bags that do not take up much room. Unfortunately, some vacation spots do not offer these bins on-site. Stow your trash and recyclables in their respective bags until you can properly dispose of them.
3. Odds and ends
Avoid buying travel-sized products in either the beauty or food categories. Remember, the smaller the packaging the more wasteful the packaging. Instead, buy travel-sized containers that can be reused, and refill them from your larger containers at home.
Furthermore, avoid wasteful containers such as take-out boxes from restaurants and disposable water bottles. When possible, pack your own food and bring a refillable water bottle. This could benefit your waistline, wallet and the planet! Pack a travel cooler or look for a hotel room or rental property with a kitchenette so you can grocery shop when you get to your destination.
By incorporating these simple tips, we can all do our part to preserve the planet for many more beautiful vacations to come!