Those who strive to live a green lifestyle don't have to forgo their environmentally conscious goals simply because they are traveling. Whether the trip is for work or pleasure, there are plenty of ways to make sure the impact on the environment is minimal. Here are seven ideas to consider when planning future trips.
1. Reduce Car Use
Renting a car is usually one of the first preparations travelers make when headed to the airport or out to explore their new location. However, every task that can be accomplished without the use of an individual vehicle reduces emissions. When possible, make use of public transportation to and from the airport and to sites near your destination. Or do a ride share with a program like Uber of Lyft. Other locations may simply be reached on foot, allowing travelers to further explore the local sites and meet people they may not otherwise interact with when behind the wheel.
As for those situations where a car is necessary, renting a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle will further reduce the environmental impact.
2. Go Paperless When Possible
Most airlines offer ticketless options that reduce paper waste while improving check-in times. Some hotels also offer paperless check-in options. Make use of the paperless possibilities whenever the opportunity presents itself.
3. Fly Green
Airplanes pollute the environment but sometimes their use is necessary. However, there are green practices travelers can follow to make their trip as eco-friendly as possible, such as flying non-stop. Flying non-stop not only protects against luggage loss and saves time, it also reduces emissions, making the flight more environmentally friendly.
4. Treat The Room Like Home
The green-living practices applied at home should apply to the hotel room as well. That means turning off lights when they are not in use and using the air conditioner less. Opting against daily towel and linen service will also have a positive impact. Imagine being responsible for the room's energy bill, and it will be easier to continue domestic conservation practices.
5. Pack Efficiently
Extra items mean extra weight, and that reduces fuel efficiency during air or car travel. Packing efficiently not only reduces fuel waste, it also makes bags easier to carry and less expensive to transport.
6. Shop Smart For Souvenirs
When buying souvenirs, shop with eco-friendly practices in mind. This means buying smaller, lighter items that minimize the added luggage weight. Asking the right questions can also help you determine if items are locally made or made from reusable materials. Opting for souvenirs that offer these qualities will further enhance the green benefits of the purchase.
7. Don't Forget The Homestead
Using green-living practices while traveling is only half the story. There are also numerous changes you can make at home before your departure in order to benefit the environment. Unplug or power down non-essential appliances to avoid their needless energy usage while the home is empty. This practice should also be applied to electronics such as the television, computer or stereo. Finally, adjusting the temperature on the thermostat and water heater in the empty home will lead to big savings when it's time to return.
Green-living practices don't have to be abandoned when traveling. Employing the seven tips mentioned above will still enable travelers to create lasting memories while minimizing environmental damage.