Eco Friendly Travel
Before you leave your house take some easy steps to make your trip eco-friendly: Turn your water heater to its lowest setting so that you use less energy while you’re away. Turn off any air conditioner units, or other ‘running’ appliances like water, icemakers, and fans. Unplug! Unplug your electronics and appliances. Cell phone chargers use energy even when they aren’t charging your cell phone, and appliances that have been switched off, like coffee makers, toasters, and lamps, continue to use energy when they aren’t in use. The worst offenders are in the home office. Chances are you don’t need to keep your computer, shredder, scanner, and printer on while you’re on vacation. While you’re reducing your eco-footprint, you’re also saving money. In fact, keeping unused appliances unplugged even when you’re home turns green travel into simply green living.
Start by choosing earth friendly luggage if possible to tote your belongings. Bags made from recycled plastic, organic materials, or environmentally-safe leather make great sustainable options. Don’t forget to pack green items like t-shirts made from organic cotton or bamboo. Choose a digital camera instead of film! Then you can take thousands of pictures without having the expense, or need for space during your trip. The best part: you only print the pictures you love and don’t waste money and paper printing poor quality photos. Carry a reusable, non-plastic water bottle to avoid the need for purchasing them everywhere you go. Word to the wise – use the bathroom at the airport, not the one on the plane. By flushing the toilet in the air, you’re using as much fuel as you’d need to run a car for six miles.
Once you’re at your destination, simple things can make a difference. Staying local is one of the best ways to go green. Stay green and support the local economy by eating at independently-owned restaurants that use fresh, local ingredients. Larger chain restaurants waste more shipping and packing materials, as well as fuel, preservation chemicals, and energy. Plus, sampling the local fare provides an added experience in your vacation. If you’re staying in a big city, use public transportation instead of renting a car. It’ll likely save your money and time as you won’t have to buy gas or worry about parking!
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