8 Inexpensive Ways to Green Your Next Vacation

in Ecotourism, Green Travel

As global warming continues to take its toll, travelers want to be sure that discovering the planet won’t ruin it for future generations. Ecotourism is an exciting new trend, but sustainable lodging and vacation packages can often cost a bomb. Happily though, you don’t need to invest in expensive accommodation and extras to vacation a little greener. Read on to discover sustainable traveling tips that won’t hurt your hip pocket.

Stay Close to Home

The further you go, the higher the cost to our planet. It’s exciting to consider discovering a far-flung destination, but have you fully explored your own backyard? Chances are there are plenty of hidden holiday gems in your own state, or even your own country. You could even explore your own city on a staycation! Look to these destinations if you want to minimize your carbon footprint and save money.

You’ll also cut your carbon emissions, and see much more, if you focus on just one or two destinations rather than hopping around from one holiday spot to the next.

Carbon Offset Your Flights

Of course no one wants to be restricted to domestic travel all the time. If you’re itching to travel abroad, make sure you do it on a carrier that allows you to carbon offset your flights. Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, Thai Airways, Air New Zealand, and United Airways all allow travelers to offset their flights for a small additional fee. This can be just a couple of dollars, which you’ll never miss!

Travel Lightly

The heavier your luggage, the more fuel it’ll take to transport it. Taking more luggage may also see you slugged with excess baggage charges. That means you’ve got two great reasons to leave behind the kitchen sink! Click here to read some simple tips for packing light.

Pack Green

Traveling green isn’t just about how much you take, but what you take. There are several sustainable choices you can make when packing your suitcase.

For a start, consider what you’ll carry your luggage in! Many manufacturers use eco-friendly and recyclable materials to craft their suitcases and backpacks. Alternatively, you can cut costs and go green by choosing a second-hand case.

Opt for rechargeable batteries rather than throwaway ones to power your devices. They cost a little more at first, but pay for themselves very quickly. Solar-charged gadgets also need nothing more than the sun to stay charged.

Forget Rental Cars and Cabs

Rental cars and cabs might be convenient, but they’re also far from the greenest ways to get about. Both see gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere for your single journey. It’s much more sustainable to join other travelers on public transport options like buses and trains. You’ll also pay a fraction of the price to use these services.

If you don’t have far to travel though, remember that walking and cycling are the greenest ways to get about. They have no carbon footprint at all! Walking’s completely free, and bike hire is generally affordable. Both transport methods are great ways to discover your vacation spot, as you’ll undoubtedly find new places to explore on the way to your destination.

Live as Green as You Would at Home

When we slip into vacation mode, it’s easy to let standards slide. However keeping them up can have a big impact on the planet. Make sure you only turn on the lights you need, and turn them all off when you leave the room. Don’t leave your air conditioner or television running, and remember to conserve water.

Many hotels will only launder your towels if you leave them on the bathroom floor. Remember to hang yours to reuse them if you’re staying more than one night. This is another great way to save water.

Enjoy Eco-Friendly Activities

Taking a trek, joining a bike tour, or exploring a wildlife sanctuary are all green ways to pass the time on vacation. These activities won’t pollute the planet, and they’ll also help you learn about the natural world around you. Often you can do these activities for free. Those that attract a fee usually cost far less than big tourist drawcards like theme parks and luxury tours. Often the cost of admission is also invested into conservation and preservation programs.

Buy Local

Hands making a heartBuying local doesn’t just support the small businesses operating in the town you’re visiting. It also cuts your carbon footprint. Importing stock guzzles gas. Eating at restaurants that serve local produce and buying souvenirs made in the local area is a great way to go green, and immerse yourself in the true culture of your vacation spot.

Employ these green travel tips and enjoy the good karma that comes!

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