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How To Make Your Summer Vacation A Little Greener

Yay vacay! Boo damaging the planet! If you agree with these two statements, here are some tips for guilt-free travel.
by Therese Sivertsson | Jun 5 2018

Vacation time is upon us! If you love travelling but wish that it wouldn’t be so darn harmful to the planet, I’ve got some tips for how to make your next trip a little greener.

Getting there

First off, do you have to fly? Or could you get to your destination via bus, train, or even by car? Did somebody say road trip? If you can spare the time, consider a slower, more green means of transportation. Bonus: not flying means you can avoid the hassle of going through security and you can bring however many liquids you like.

When this is not an option, you can choose to offset the carbon emissions generated by your flight through a small payment that goes towards saving emissions elsewhere. It’s a way to balance out the emissions you can’t reduce.

Staying there

Hotels use up a lot of energy and if you want to reduce the environmental impact of your stay while travelling, look for a hotel with a green certificate that indicates the hotel is committed to more sustainable practices. You might also want to look into private vacation rentals as these make efficient use of otherwise under-utilized space.

Whatever you do choose, when you head out for a day of exploration or relaxation, turn off air-conditioning, unplug devices, and, if you’re staying at a hotel, hang your towels up to dry rather than leave them on the floor to be washed every day.

Exploring

One of my favorite things to do while travelling is to visit beautiful hiking trails, beaches, and nature parks, but sadly, not every visitor takes care to make sure they remain a lovely place to visit. Trash lining beaches and hiking trails is an all too common sight. Bring along a bag for collecting your trash and stay within marked hiking trails to not harm the natural environment.

For organized tours, look for providers that have a seal of approval, especially if you’re exploring wildlife habitats and want to make sure your funtimes are not harmful to the animals.

Choose locally-made products for your souvenirs. That way you’re supporting local business and bringing back things that are actually from the place you visited, and not some factory across the globe.

5 small actions that make a difference

  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill at water fountains and limit the amount of plastic water bottles you buy
  • Pack lightly, especially if you fly! The more weight that goes onto an airplane, the more fuel it uses. Travelling with hand luggage makes check-in and arrival so much faster as well — more time to enjoy your trip!
  • Pack a shopping bag and skip using plastic bags
  • Use e-tickets over printing paper tickets — less to keep track of!
  • Bring any leftover products from the hotel with you when you go home, you can use them for your next trip!

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