It is “easy to be green” now more than ever, especially when planning holidays and vacations. With Spring Break and summer right around the corner, I have been thinking about preparing for greener, eco-friendly vacations. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some serious sunshine.
The greenest type of vacation is always the staycation—your carbon footprint is minimized when there is no travel or hotel needed. Make it fun: think of the things you would do if you were visiting a new city (art and science museums, zoos, theater, parks, libraries, festivals, new restaurants, city centers). Chances are, you probably don’t visit those places in your own city very often. Or make a daytrip and drive to a nearby city that you haven’t fully explored yet.
If you need to get out of Dodge, there are a lot of ways to do so and stay environmentally ethical. Consider some of these options:
- Try out a bicycle rental program. Exploring by bike is an excellent—and healthy—way to go sightseeing. Take advantage of public transportation or walk.
- Travel light: limit any packaging that will become waste at your destination.
- Participate in a local environmental program offered to visitors and locals.
- Support local businesses, tour guides, and eateries.
- Before you go, research your destination. This will help make your journey more enjoyable and you can make more informed decisions.
Every hotel and motel claims to be “green” these days. How can you tell if your hotel is truly nature-friendly and living up to its professed eco credentials? Do your research. Try out these websites for booking hotels:
- Best Green Hotels. “Go beyond ecotourism. Find lodging worldwide that is committed to sustainable development.”
- Travelocity’s Travel for Good. After you stay in one of their suggested hotels, fill out their Green form and get a $50 voucher for your next travel AND Travelocity will plant a tree in your honor.
- Expedia Green Travel Guide and Programs
Some things to remember when travelling green:
- Never buy souvenirs made from endangered species.
- Make friends. Get to know the locals. Ask questions.
- Save water, save energy, reduce solid waste.
- Don’t disturb the wildlife.
Whatever measures you take to make your upcoming vacations more eco-friendly not only benefit the environment, but will make your future vacation planning even easier to be green.