4 Steps to a Greener Vacation

June 20, 2013 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

It’s now mid-June and we are in full-blown vacation season. Whether you’re going traveling a few hours away or going on a cross country road trip, there are ways to cut down your carbon footprint without sacrificing all the fun and festivities of your vacation.

First, its important to understand how big your travel carbon footprint will be. There are numerous carbon footprint calculators online but the best road trip calculator I found was from Native Energy’s website: http://bit.ly/TXdgCM. The site also allows you to make an optional donation to a current community project to offset your carbon footprint from your trip. Compare your driving carbon footprint to your potential flying footprint to help make smarter, more green decisions.

Second, try to find an environmentally friendly hotel. These hotels usually provide organic and local food, compost, recycle, use alternative energy, re-use gray water, etc. The website http://www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com lets you search your city, state, or any country for the most sustainable, environmentally committed hotels. So far traveling green is a piece of organic cake!

Third, consider destinations that allow you to travel smarter during your stay. Many cities offer alternative modes of transportation instead of renting a car. Before your trip, look to see if your destination city (or hotel) offers alternate ways to get around. For example, here in Madison we have Bcycle, where you can rent and return bikes all over the city, you can rent boats to get around the surrounding lakes, and there are buses running constantly. Not to mention, these experiences will be more memorable and less stressful than fighting traffic in a car.

Fourth, everyone likes to buy stuff, stuff, and more stuff on vacation. Try your best to buy local souvenirs. Buying local will not only boost the local economy, but it will also reduce the environmental cost of transportation of the generic souvenirs. These local products will most likely be better quality and more memorable. And let’s face it, there’s only so many airbrushed T-shirts and key chains a person needs.

These four steps are completely manageable and won’t drain your wallet. Just like when you’re at home, common sense applies to vacation. You should always bring re-usable water bottles and instead of buying travel sized toiletries, put your regular toiletries in re-usable travel sized containers. Not to mention, you can relax even easier having a guilt-free vacation. Safe travels!

P.S. This site has plenty of ideas for green vacations and eco-tourism: http://bit.ly/12dHD84

Thanks for reading,

EnAct Intern Chelsie

 

image credit: blog.hiltonheadoutfitters.com

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