Are you conscious about the impact you’re having on the environment throughout your day to day life? If so, you may be concerned about the impact you’re having on the environment while you travel as well. If that’s the case you may want to take a few steps to reduce your carbon footprint as you explore all the world has to offer. Here are a few tips to help you travel with the environment in mind.
10. STOP FLYING
Despite the length of time it takes to travel by bus or train, both modes of transportation are much better for the environment than flying. Airplanes use an incredible amount of fuel for both takeoff and landing – remarkably more than you would use by taking a more effective mode of public transportation.
9. DO NOT DISTURB
When you do reach your destination, ask your hotel concierge if the hotel is participating in an eco-friendly cleaning program – not replacing your towels or sheets every day. If not, simply hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door and leave it there. The cleaning staff won’t come in your room to replace your linens if the sign is on the door. If you’re staying in one place for an extended period of time, remove the sign every few days to ensure you are replacing linens only when they really need to be.
8. WEIGH YOUR BAGS
Not only will heavy bags ultimately lead to higher bag charges (if you fly) but the heavier your bags the heavier your mode of transportation. Therefore, if you pack lightly you’ll end up leaving a smaller carbon footprint because you’ll ultimately use less fuel to get from point A to point B. Do you really need an outfit for each day of your trip or could you cut back by mixing and matching?
7. CARRY LAUNDRY DETERGENT
If the idea of carrying less clothing makes you nervous, consider carrying your own eco-friendly laundry detergent. Every major city (and even some hotels) have laundry mats. You can easily take an hour or two out of an early morning to do your own laundry.
6. DON’T WASTE ON THE ROAD
Practice green habits while staying in your hotel room. Don’t leave extra lights on if they’re not necessary and unplug the television and lights before you leave just as you would if you were at home. It’s easy to forget these things while on the road because we never see a hotel electric bill. Every little bit of saved energy counts.
5. AVOID BROCHURES
When I was a kid, the first thing I would do when entering a hotel lobby was to pick up brochures and pamphlets about every attraction in the area – whether we were going to visit them or not. What I didn’t know then was that I was wasting a ton of paper. If you’re going to visit a destination, take what you need to figure out how to get there and no more. You can take your own pictures and write your own memories – and they’ll be much nicer than whatever the brochure conjured up for you.
4. HOTEL AMENITIES
Do you really need to use the shampoos and soaps left behind for you at the hotel? You could easily carry your own eco-friendly alternatives and leave the small samples behind for others. If you just can’t help it, take the hotel soaps and donate them to a local homeless shelter when you return home. Otherwise, just leave them alone.
3. LOOK FOR MODIFIED HOTEL SUITES
Look for hotels that have kitchenettes within the suites. If you’re able to get one you can easily visit a local farmers market and get everything you need to create your own meals each day. You’ll save money, contribute to the local economy, and reduce the carbon footprint created by eating in a chain restaurant.
2. BREAK OUT THE WALKING SHOES
When making hotel reservations, try to find spots that are central to most of the attractions you’d like to visit. Most cities are laid out pretty well and walking from destination to destination should be no problem. If you can’t walk, see if the hotel you’re in offers bicycle rentals or can recommend an outlet for you to use. They’re safer, healthier, and will help you to cover ground faster than if you had to walk a far distance.
1. CARRY REUSABLE BOTTLES
Most eco-friendly people do this anyway but don’t think about it as much when traveling. Carry your own refillable bottle and use it throughout your trip. You can fill it with water, coffee, juice, soda, or whatever you plan to drink throughout the day. Carrying your own bottle will help cut down on waste created by paper cups, plastic bottles, and cans.
Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean you can’t travel. It simply means you have to travel responsibly. Consider these tips when planning your next trip and both you and your planet will be much happier.