Heading out for the holidays? Take note of these six simple tips for “greener” travel ““so you can enjoy your vacation while reducing your environmental impact.
- Prepare your home: Unplug appliances, turn off lights and air conditioning ““ if you can’t or don’t want to leave it off, set your AC unit at the appropriate temperature to conserve energy (approximately 60 in winter and 80 in summer).
- Pack lightly: An overweight suitcase could cost you more at the ticket counter, and it may cost the environment, too. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, train or plane, the added weight of excess luggage can lead to lower fuel economy and higher carbon emissions.
- Be an earth-friendly flier: Book a nonstop flight if possible, use electronic ticketing and consider purchasing carbon credits to offset your environmental impact.
- Reduce hotel waste: Take shorter showers and leave towels neatly hanging to signify you’d like to reuse them. Bring your own toiletries or take any opened soap, shampoo or lotion home with you to continue using. If there is no recycling program, take any paper or plastic products home with you to recycle.
- Use public transportation: Rather than renting a car, utilize the bus, subway, trolley or any other form of public transportation to get around. If the weather permits, walk or rent a bike to do any sightseeing.
- Eat and buy local: Find locally grown foods and seek out handmade souvenirs to support the community’s economy and sustainability.