Tips for Traveling Green
Are you ready to hit the road? Consider the following before you solidify your travel plans to make your trip as green and environmentally friendly as possible.
The best way to be as green as possible when you travel is to consider the way you will be traveling.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of harm travelers can cause to the environment is by choosing an environmentally friendly means of travel. When it is possible, try walking or biking instead of driving a car. Choosing a mode of travel that completely eliminates emissions is the greenest way to get around. If you absolutely cannot walk or take a bike to your destination consider biking and walking when you arrive. With green travel making its way to the forefront of urban planning and city issues, there are more bike paths and walking tours then ever before.
Public transportation also eliminates the harmful side effects of mass travel. By taking a bus, carpooling or using subways and trains you are making a big difference in the amount of harmful gases being emitted into the environment. Look for ways to use public transport when you arrive to a new city and on your way to new places!
If you have to take a car, consider the many ways to make your trip more fuel-efficient. Using hybrid vehicles, carpooling, making sure there is enough air in your tires, turning of the AC in your car, removing roof racks that increase your cars weight, shifting smoothly and accelerating smoothly, using the best fuels for your vehicle and not idling the engine are all helpful ways to reduce the harmful emissions from your car and additionally, will help to increase your miles per gallon.
If you have to fly, consider the amount of harmful emissions caused by planes each year. While most major airlines are currently conducting research about alternative fuels for planes (consider the Continental Airlines flight that recently used an entire engine filled with alternative fuels for a one hour test flight), flying is still a huge source of air pollution.
Some airlines have programs called “Flying Carbon Neutral” where for an added price a tree will be planted to offshoot the air pollution caused by your flight. Check online or ask your airline provider about Flying Carbon Neutral.
Find Environmentally Friendly Tours
When you arrive on your vacation do your best to only support tours that are truly environmentally friendly. With ecotourism becoming so popular it is economically beneficial to have a ‘green’ business. Do your research and pick tours and vacation providers that really do follow green travel ideals.
Additionally when you are on a tour during your vacation try to eliminate your impact on the place you are visiting. Be conscious of trash, picking wildflowers and dropping cigarette buts.
There are a lot of ways hotels can be greener and a lot of things you can do when you stay at a hotel to help the environment.
First, try choosing accommodations that are eco-friendly. Those that use sustainable materials, employ energy conservation, water conservation and proper waste management. For more information on green accommodations, check out our section on eco lodges and green hotels.
You can also do little things during your stay like asking the hotel manager to not change the towels in your room until after your stay. Additionally, turning off the air conditioning and electricity when you leave the room saves an enormous amount of power and helps curb the impact tourism has on the environment.
Try to think about ecotourism, green travel ideals and the ways in which tourism is both harmful and helpful to ecosystems and cultures around the world when you travel. By supporting green businesses and local economies you can make a big difference in the way tourism impacts the world.