The holiday season seems replete with ways to lose any sense of discipline you’ve worked so hard to gain since you made those resolutions back in January. And while it’s no secret our diet goals will take a hit between October and December, what about your ambitions to be a good steward to our planet?
But while it might seem almost impossible to live up to some of your goals this time of year, keeping a low carbon footprint during holiday travel shouldn’t be daunting. Here are a few tips to help you stay green as your family hits the road this holiday season.
1) Ditch the Disposables
Travel-sized and hotel supplied toiletries may be more convenient, but those little travel gems are the epitome of waste. Do the planet a favor by bringing your everyday toiletries with you in reusable containers.
2) Pack Your Own Hand Towels
Paper towel and napkin waste rarely crosses our minds, but we need to realize that these ubiquitous consumables cannot be recycled. While you may not be able to avoid using paper towels altogether, pack a set or two of ultra-microfiber hand towels when you travel. Not only are they efficient at soaking up spills, the high-end varieties are amazing when it comes to getting stains off clothes.
3) Eat Consciously
What ends up at the end of a fork when you’re away from home is the subject of many wellness discussions as we often find ourselves eating poorly. What we don’t often discuss is how our travel food choices affect the environment. Just as healthy eating on the road is possible with some forethought and discipline, environmentally responsible dining is entirely doable.
Pack a variety of green snacks for the “in-the-car” phase of your journey, and stock up on green grub at a grocery store when you arrive. When eating out, opt for locally owned, environmentally conscious restaurants – besides, it’s more fun to enjoy some fresh local cuisine than eating at yet another chain restaurant.
4) Conserve Resources at Home
Don’t forget that your home continues to use power while you’re away. Wasting energy definitely isn’t green, and you don’t want to pay for energy you aren’t using. Try these helpful tips:
- Unplug anything unnecessary. Many of our consumer electronics and appliances now consume electricity even when they are not in use.
- Lower the temperature. While most of us remember to turn down the thermostat, we often overlook our water heaters. Make it a habit to lower the temperature on your water heater every time you set your thermostat to vacation mode.
- Install programmable lights. If security is a concern, upgrade your home with an inexpensive and programmable z-wave system. This will allow you to control your lighting remotely from your smartphone or tablet, instead of simply leaving the lights on when you are away from home.
From all of us here at Direct Energy, we hope you have a happy, safe, and green holiday season!