1. Before you head out, be sure to unplug and power down as many appliances as possible. Electronics continue to eat up power when plugged in, even when not in use. Be sure to turn down the temperature of your water heater as well (big energy user).
2. We know that air travel is the easiest/only way to travel to certain destinations but the fact is that each pound of airplane emissions is about 2.8 times worse than emissions from other forms of transportation. Choose direct flights if you can; up to 80% of a plane’s fuel consumption happens during take-off and landing. Visit Flightstats.com to compare on-time records and avoid choosing airlines that waste fuel waiting for clearance.
3. Take public transportation such as buses and trains instead of taxis or car rentals. Better yet, walk or rent a bike. If a car is absolutely necessary, rent a hybrid.
4. Choose a green hotel. A green hotel is one that is committed to sustainable development and takes proactive measures to save water and reduce solid waste. Many eco-friendly hotels also offer locally sourced food that is both more nutritious and more delicious. Do your part to conserve during your stay as well. Small things like turning down the air conditioning (and turning it off when you leave) and opting out of housekeeping service can yield big energy savings. Visit EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com to search for green hotels while planning your next trip.
5. Pack light. The heavier something is, the more resources it uses in order to reach its final destination.
6. Shop local. No matter where you are (traveling or not) support the local community and purchase items and food from local vendors. Shipping products from other parts of the country or world is a waste of energy and resources. It's always better for the environment to consume locally.
7. Avoid buying disposable water bottles by bringing your own reusable one. Also, don’t forget your reusable shopping bag. No need to get out of habit just because you’re on the road. And while we’re on the topic, avoid using hotel shampoos and lotions as they are a huge waste of plastic.
Here a few more valuable links to learn more about green travel:
Sustainable Travel International - a non-profit organization dedicated to providing sustainable travel solutions
The Green Guide - a great resource for reducing your carbon footprint both at home and on the road, developed by National Geographic
Go Green Travel - a wealth of travel tips for the eco-conscious traveler
For more information about eco-tourism or assistance in booking your next trip, contact a travel professional today.