From New Zealand to Sweden, people around the globe are increasingly stepping up their environmentally-friendly game and color their lifestyles green. Whether it’s just a trend or a serious attempt to change their lifestyle and embrace healthy habits, it’s good to know that eco-awareness is on the constant rise. Still, if you’re just a beginner in this fight for preserving our planet, you might find things a bit tricky, and particularly if you're going on vacation.
So, let’s take a look at some practical ways to incorporate sustainability into your holiday travels.
Tip #1 - Pick a hotel carefully
If you’re going to stay in a hotel, you can try to book your stay in those that are LEED certified. Of course, look for other environmentally-friendly certifications as well. Moreover, don’t forget to inquire about the green programs that a certain hotel might offer. You can easily get this info online or by calling the reception desk. Another thing that you might want to consider is actually checking the hotel’s resource sources and sustainability initiatives.
Tip #2 - Avoid flying as much as possible
In general, it would be best to plan your travel destination so that you can reach it by train. Trains are not a perfect green solution but they are the best thing for land travel. Travelling on a ship also reduces your carbon footprint. If you have no choice but to go there by car, try to rent a hybrid or electric vehicle. What’s more, your best flight options definitely include airlines that include carbon offset program offers.
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Tip #3 - Do your part to reduce negative impact
If you have no luck with finding a hotel or accommodation that offers a green program, do your best to reduce your carbon footprint on your own. So, treat your stay the same as if you were at home. In that respect, don’t forget to turn off lights when you don’t need them as well as water faucets. Also, you really don’t need to have a TV on when you sleep or leave the room. The same goes for heaters and air conditioners. Instead of baths, take two minute showers. Refrain from asking the staff to wash your laundry but bring all you need for your stay. And of course, don’t forget to recycle.
Tip #4 - Buy local
When it comes to food and drinks, you don’t have to bring your own when going on vacation. That way, you’ll reduce the shipping and manufacturing costs as well as improve the economy of local businesses. Therefore, always go local when you need to buy something. Organic fruit and veggies, and farmer’s markets are always the best choice. Also, you can get a BPA-free water bottle and refill it when necessary. And if you must purchase a souvenir choose one that has been handcrafted by an artisan or maker as this helps protect skills and traditions and empowers the local community.
Tip #5 - Be kind to your surroundings
When you finally settle at your accommodation, remember to be very thoughtful about your actions when exploring the new surroundings. This is especially important if you’re set for some nice and long hiking. Make sure to use previously decided routes. Don’t try to wander and feed animals or pick wild flowers and plants. Most importantly, never throw your trash outdoors. Littering is not only illegal and completely rude, but it can actually endanger many local wildlife species as well as drain the local resources when it comes to cleaning.
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Tip #6 - Choose greener transport
If you have to move around the place you’re staying at a lot and the destinations are so far apart that you can’t walk, try to use the local transport. If it happens that there’s none and you think about renting a car, always go with a hybrid. Even better solution would be renting a bike. If you’re more into hipster spirit, consider using a segway board or roller skates for this purpose. Not only will you reduce the carbon footprint, but you’ll also get a nice exercise and see more of the surrounding nature.
Living a green life at home but forgetting all about it on your travels is not something a true environmentalist would do. Therefore, make sure to do your research and thoroughly prepare for the next vacation destination. If you’re still unsure about some things, use the vast info available on the Internet. Many people share your ideals and offer necessary advice for future green travelers.
Do you have any other eco travel tips? We'd love to hear them so please share away!