Eco-Friendly Travel: How to Protect the Earth This Holiday Season
Many families travel during the winter holidays, in part because time off from work and school obligations allows them the opportunity to get away. Some people visit family and friends while others head off to an exotic locale. Regardless of what your holiday plans entail, it is important to keep in mind that traveling can negatively impact the environment. Commit yourself to going green this holiday season by making a few small changes to the way that you travel.
Be conscious of how much you are packing. The heavier your suitcase, the more fuel your car, plane or train is going to use to take you where you need to go. For each item of clothing that you pack, consider how you can use it in more than one way. For example, if you pack a pair of jeans, use them during a day outing and then dress them up one evening with a nice shirt.
Walk through each room of your house and unplug any unnecessary electronics. While you may feel more comfortable leaving on a light or two in your absence, that doesn’t mean that you have to leave the computer on or the stereo system hooked up. This step shouldn’t take you very long, and it will save energy by reducing vampire loads.
Minimize your use of paper. Rather than printing out or writing down directions, use your GPS or your smartphone to guide you to your destination. If you are working with a travel agent, ask them to email you any necessary documents rather than sending them to you in the mail. Create a new folder in your email for the paperwork so you can access it easily.
Find green travel options, travel by train or bus, if possible. They are the greenest options, and they can offer a certain level of convenience, particularly if the weather and roads are bad along your travel route. If the train or bus isn’t an option, and you have to decide between flying or driving, see if you can get an affordable nonstop flight.
If you plan to stay at a hotel, do your research. Find an eco-friendly establishment that is locally owned and operated. Pack an extra bag in your suitcase so that you can separate any paper or plastic from the rest of your trash. Make sure you recycle the items prior to checking out of the hotel. Finally, maintain the same “green” behaviors that you would at home. Keep the thermostat at a reasonable number. Turn off any lights or electronics before you head out of the room, and keep your showers short.
Once you get into a routine, it isn’t hard to “go green” at home. Recycling, supporting local businesses like Home Guard Pest Control , and even conserving energy can become second nature. However, most people find it difficult to maintain eco-friendly habits when they travel. Still, it is crucial to the health of the Earth to be as green as possible while on vacation.