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It’s So Easy, Being Green

Green Travel: A Sustainable Trend

With global temperatures rising, our environment is something that everyone should be concerned about. All over the world, massive efforts are being made to reduce greenhouse gasses, limit pollution and repair the planets delicate ecosystem. Many of us here in the United States and Canada have taken measures at home to reduce our own carbon footprint by walking, biking and driving more fuel efficient cars, eating organic foods that weren’t grown using harmful pesticides, using energy efficient lights in our homes and work places, and supporting companies who do the same. Many of us are finding that “going green” reduces costs and saves money on everyday expenses. This is good news for our planet, as well as your bottom line.

When on vacation there is no reason not to continue these practices. Here are some helpful green travel hints designed to help you have the green vacation you’ve always wanted, without having to sacrifice the amenities you are used to.

Try to find an eco friendly hotel. There are many of them all over the world, and they generally won’t cost you more than anywhere else.  Conserve resources as much as possible by turning off the lights when you’re not in the room and by limiting the use of the heat and air conditioning.  Also, do you really need a fresh towel every day? Put a do not disturb sign on your door and stay with the same linens, for at least two days.

Take your digital camera along. Digital cameras are far better for the environment than a disposable camera. You can also take more photos, see them immediately, and print only the ones you want.

Eat the local food, as it does not have to travel as far to get to your plate. By eating locally, not only are you supporting the local economy, you are supporting the families of the region directly. Avoid all fast food and chain restaurants. After all, you wouldn’t go to Florida for a fresh Maine lobster would you?

When renting a car on vacation, there are little things that you can do in order to cut down on your gas consumption.

Rent the smallest car possible. If you are willing to be slightly cramped in the back seat of a compact versus renting a midsize, not only will you save money on the rental, but you will get better gas mileage.  Accelerate gradually in your rental car. Acceleration uses more gas than anything else. Once the car is moving, it will use less gas to stay moving, so set the cruise control at a reasonable speed while on highways.  When stopping, don’t wait till the last minute to use those breaks. Use the clutch and allow the car to stop gradually.  Ease off the air conditioning if you don’t need it. Roll those windows down instead and breathe in the fresh air!  Check the tire pressure, every time you fill up, even with your rental car.  You can sometimes do this before you even drive it off the lot, and attendants will show you where to fill up those tires.  Carry as little around with you while driving. The less weight in your car, the better it will perform.  Pack light in general to save fuel while on the plane. The less baggage the plane has to carry, the better it will run.

Do you have some eco-friendly travel tips?  Leave a me a comment with anything you can think of!

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0 Responses to It’s So Easy, Being Green

  1. Richard says:

    People definitely can make a difference and should make a difference. I read rrecently that “If 10,000 people stay at hotels with efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads, each night we’ll save enough water to fill 11,263 whirlpool bathtubs.”

    The only problem is that people don’t know how to find “Green” hotels. And also there’s the issue of greenwashing, properties that are trying to fool the public into thinking they’re green when they really are doing very little for the environment.

    There is a new social network site that offers help. It’s http://www.istaygreen.org and is like Facebook – TripAdvisor – and Expedia all merged into one site for the eco-friendly traveler. They’ve rated several thousand hotels around the world based on their environmental-friendliness. Their members review the properties they stay at based on their “Green” initiatives, so basically the public is creating an accountability system that forces the property owners to be truthful in their claims and do something.

    iStayGreen.org is a great site for finding and booking “Green” hotels and will prove helpful in moving us towards more environmentally friendly travel.

  2. Bart says:

    It’s also important not to drive fast.
    Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph lowers your fuel economy by about 10 percent! Follow the speed limit and not only can you avoid a costly ticket but you can also save the environment and your cash!!!

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