November 23, 2008

Eco Friendly Tips: Travel

Creative Commons License photo credit: ro gianesi

One of the most common eco friendly tips is this: it’s better for the planet if you walk, ride a bike, take mass transit, or carpool wherever you need to go. For those seeking to explore beyond their own community or state this advice can be a bit difficult to apply, especially for those of us with a family. In addition, it is hard to ignore the widespread criticism of environmentalists and green celebrities that do a bit of jet setting. Does this mean you need to forgo any travel plans that your family may have? Absolutely not!

Deciding to green your lifestyle essentially means you want to reduce your environmental impact., not eliminate it altogether. The latter would hardly be possible and there is no reason to think that going green means you have to sacrifice all your fun.

Here are some eco friendly tips for traveling:

[ad#ad-2] For everyday travel make sure your car is in good working order. A well maintained car and environmentally sound driving practices will go a long way to reduce your environmental impact. Get regular tune ups and oil changes, maintain air pressure in your tires, and avoid driving during rush hour. If you need to rent a car for vacation find a rental agency that loans out hybrid vehicles are more efficient to drive than regular cars.

Recent reports have indicated that trains are the best environmental choice so consider a train for commutes to work or for vacations. Guided train tours are offered by a large number of countries and tour companies. If your vacation plans revolve around exploring a large distance then trains are your best bet. To save money and reduce waste you can pack lunches and bring reusable bottles perhaps using Bento Lunchboxes and Klean Kanteens. If you prefer to travel by air there are several programs that work with you to offset your carbon footprint by planting trees or allowing you to buy carbon credits.

You can also choose a green destination for your next vacation. Low-impact outdoor recreational activities such as camping, backpacking, and hiking are fun for families. Being outdoors and enjoying nature just strengthens our resolve to tread lightly on the earth. Just remember that what you bring with you must also leave with you in accordance with the popular “pack it in, pack it out” mantra. Also, leave footprints only and take nothing but photos. Using solar powered ovens and flashlights is another low impact idea for outdoor recreation.

For those that do not enjoy sleeping outdoors much there is a growing number of resorts and hotels popping up every year that have green programs in place to save water and energy, provide local foods for their guests, and recycle as much waste as they can. There are bed and breakfasts, resorts, lodges, rental condos, and inns all over the world that are dedicated to the environment and the greening of the hospitality industry. It is ecotourism at its finest.

Everybody needs a little rest and recreation from time to time. With a little planning you can make your next vacation a little greener!

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Alexis Rodrigo

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