4 Earth Conscious Travel Tips

Earth Day is coming up after the weekend and it’s a great day to consider your carbon footprint and try to practice more green ways of living! For those of you who are planning on traveling anytime soon, here are wonderful tips to keep in mind on how to be Earth conscious while exploring the world:

Fly Green- Everyone knows (or should know) that the exhaust from airplanes is not good for the atmosphere and that it accounts for very close to half of the carbon dioxide emissions in all forms of transportation! But there are ways to help! Yes, it’s called carbon offsets which are purchased to fund projects that help reduce Greenhouse Gases. There are different organizations that you can buy the carbon offsets from, such as Native Energy. Another easy way to fly green is by booking direct flights and packing lightly. The less the plane weighs the less fuel it uses and puts out into the air, and the least amount of trips you take lessens your own personal footprint!

airplane

{Photo: Frugal Granola}

Choose “Green Seal” Hotels Believe it or not, there are hotels out there that are extremely Eco-Friendly! Try finding hotels that have the Green Seal, this means that they promote green ways of living by replacing products and/or materials normally found in the usual hotel, with more environmentally conscious products. Of course, it’s still in the growing stage so there is a limited number of hotel participants, so if you aren’t able to book rooms in a Green Seal hotel it’s OK! You can still do your part in a regular hotel by remembering to turn lights off and unplug appliances you aren’t using (because they do actually still use energy even when they’re not in use.) Another good thing to do during your stay is to cut down on the housekeeping and sheet changing. You could try requesting the reuse of your sheets as well as your towels. However, in most hotels if you leave your towel on the rack they will leave it; if it’s on the floor they will take it to be washed, so be conscious of that.

hotel room

{Photo: Home Bunch}

Buy and Eat Locally- This is an easy way to help the Earth. By consuming the locally grown and locally made foods and products, you are supporting the local businesses and cutting down the emissions of products that would otherwise be flown or trucked into the area. But not only is it a good thing for the environment, it can help the economy of wherever you’re visiting, and can act as a wonderful cultural experience of your own that you will be extremely grateful for once you’re back home! Just think of all the exotic fruits, even gourmet foods and meals you could come across while vacationing in a completely different country!

Peppers-at-Farmers-Market

{Photo: Lindsay McSweeney via Smug Mug}

Public Transportation- While my own experiences of public transportation were never very pleasant, it is a wonderful way to help our planet! Riding subways, trains, buses, or bicycles definitely reduce pollution, especially if you consider it in comparison to the pollution emitted from one car per person on that one bus, or train. In Europe public transportation is key and definitely serves its purpose; its a service that is taken care of and is reliable (as opposed to here in the States…) This is mostly because a lot of the European countries and cities have considerably smaller roads and not enough parking space, so mass transit just make more sense! But if you feel you must rent your own car, then try finding a hybrid. Although, doesn’t a bike ride through the village sound romantic?!

public transport

{Photo: Streets of Dublin}

There are many ways one can help the environment; turn off lights at home, open windows instead of the AC, use special light bulbs, the list goes on. So, if you do your part at home, don’t stop while you’re on vacation. Mother Earth never goes on vacation! What will you do for your planet this Earth Day?

 

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