There is always a part of me that dislikes the environmental impacts of traveling. The use of fossil fuels for transportation, buying food in non-environmentally friendly packaging, the list goes on. Luckily, I've found a couple of ways to make traveling a little easier on the environment. Use these simple tips to make your travel as low impact as possible:
When you are booking your flights, there are a couple of ways to decrease waste. Whenever possible book a nonstop flight to save the carbon emissions from an extra takeoff and landing. This will also save you the hassle of running around terminals to switch flights, will make your travel day shorter, and get you to your final destination quicker. Also, use paperless ticketing to save on paper. When the International Air Transport Association switched to paperless ticketing, they started to save about 50,000 trees a year.
While you are traveling, there are several things you can do to keep your environmental impact low. When you rent a car, see if you can get an hybrid or a gas efficient model. Not only will these cars help the environment, but you'll end up spending less on gas. Smaller cars can get nearly 40 miles to the gallon while larger SUVs struggle to get 22 miles to the gallon in the city. Once you make it to your accommodations, set the temperature in your room to a comfortable level. If you are leaving for an extended period, turn the thermostat down. Hotel rooms are generally small and will warm up quickly when you return. If your room has drapes, close them to keep the sun out if it's hot outside.
When you have reached your destination, do a little research on environmentally friendly destinations in the area. For example, if you are traveling to upstate New York, I would recommend checking out the Finger Lakes Region. Some of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the world can be found here, accompanied by wineries with some delicious wines for the tasting! For those of you who want to be green, but aren’t fans of nature and the outdoors, check out the greenest shopping mall in the world, Destiny USA which just recently opened near Syracuse.
If you are aiming for a warmer destination, consider visiting Costa Rica. The country has worked hard to become one of the 'green' destinations of the world and is filled with eco-friendly services. Over 2.4 million tourists travel to Costa Rica each year and are treated to eco-friendly hotels, resorts, and tours. The country is full of eco-friendly hotels, resorts, and tours. When travelling here, you will find yourself having many different cultural experiences to choose from, such as trekking/hiking, visiting rural communities, bird watching, visiting a volcano and then of course, beautiful beaches.
As you can see, being green during your trip does not have to be difficult. With a bit of preparation before your trip and some Earth friendly decisions during, you can be sure that you will have a great time and leave a very small carbon footprint in the process.