A Planet-friendly Summer Vacation
BY: Andrea Kasprzak
Whether you’re seeking relaxation or an epic urban adventure, it’s easy to plan your summer vacation and still keep the planet in mind. After all, just because you’re skipping town doesn’t mean you have to ditch your eco-friendly principles too! Try these five simple tips to go green while getting away.
1. Fly Direct
Book a direct flight from your hometown airport to your final destination. You’ll help cut down on fuel distributed into the air -- plus no transfer time means less travel stress and a decreased risk of losing your luggage. That’s a double whammy!
2. Book a Green Room
Resolve to reserve rooms at eco-friendly hotels whenever possible. Check out the Green Hotels Association for a list of accommodations that feature organic and local food, eco-friendly water fixtures, great recycling and reusing practices, and more. You can also consider taking an eco-tourism vacation, which combines fun and exploration with green missions, such as getting to know local cultures and volunteering to help preserve natural areas.
3. Unplug Before You Go
Take a quick tour of your house or apartment before you leave and unplug all appliances, including your washer/dryer, computer and television. Even if you leave them turned off but still plugged in, vampire energy drain can use up valuable energy and increase your electricity bills. According to the Department of Energy, vampire energy loss accounts for about $4 billion in wasted energy across the country.
4. Go Green While Going Places
Vacation is the perfect time to go green while you’re getting around. Try taking public transportation to save money, or renting bikes or a hybrid car. And don’t forget your own personal chauffer -- your feet! Slowing down will give you a chance to really see the fun locales you’re visiting, plus a little exercise will help offset all those decadent vacation meals!
5. Stay Smart
Pack your eco know-how with you: Reuse hotel towels (do they really need to be washed every day?), remember to switch off lights whenever you leave, and bring your own refillable water bottle. Take the easy green practices you’ve put in place at home with you wherever you go.