Summer is coming, which means it’s time to start planning those summer vacations. Wherever you’re heading, have you thought about how you will get there, what you’ll bring and how you’ll recycle while you’re there? There are lots of ways to keep your commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling even when you are away from home. Environmentally friendly travel involves everything from where you go, how you get there, where you stay, and the actions you take while you’re there.
When planning your vacation, keep the environment in mind. There are a variety of green destinations in the United States and around the world. Look into environmentally friendly travel companies like iStayGreen and Responsible Travel that can help you find green hotels and activities. Consider making your vacation about ecotourism, which is responsible travel to natural areas that focus on conservation and sustainability.
Choose the best travel option by looking into how far you’re going and try to get direct flights. Consider bus or train travel, and try to walk, bike, use public transportation, or rent a hybrid car to get around. Keep an eye on what your trip is doing to your carbon footprint and avoid paper by using apps for plane tickets, itineraries, reservations, maps, and other travel documents.
Become an eco-friendly traveler by bringing a refillable water bottle, travel mug and reusable bag or backpack to avoid acquiring extra waste. Refill your travel-sized bottles from larger bottles in your home, and only bring as much as you’ll need. Reduce.org provides even more ways to reduce while traveling whether you are heading to a hotel or taking a fishing trip.
While You’re There
Welcome to vacation! Go see the sites, relax and enjoy your time away from home, but remember to recycle. Always look for recycling bins in your hotel, while sightseeing and out on the town. Ask for recycling options if you don’t see them and use ways to reduce waste. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has tips for traveling green that encourage travelers to be mindful of resources they use at the hotel and to sort recyclables.
Live Like a Local
You may be a guest, but try to live like a local by using public transportation and looking for locally sourced, sustainable goods as souvenirs. Best of all, eat local! Find farmers markets and sustainable restaurant options to eat delicious food and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.
When you go green on vacation, you continue your commitment to the three R’s and take advantage of all your destination has to offer. You also continue the commitment you’ve made at home to protect the environment by reducing, reusing and recycling.
- Choose a green destination.
- Think about the impact of your transportation.
- Bring reusables with you.
- Buy local and sustainably sourced products while you’re there.
- Seek out recycling options.