Five Tips for a Green Summer Vacation
By Audrey Masson, Guest Blogger and Summer 2014 #EcoArmy Intern
Summer officially starts Saturday, and with it comes a global desire to get away from home. But planning a carefree vacation doesn’t have to mean forgetting your eco-friendly values! You would be surprised by the many opportunities available to go green even when you are out of town. By following our five sustainable tips for a green summer vacation, you can make your summer holiday as eco-friendly as your daily routine:
Your summer travels can be carefree and green no matter where you go.
1. Sustainable Transportation is the Way to Go
Air transportation might be the most popular means of transport, but it is also the least environmentally-friendly (and usually the most expensive). If travel by bus or train is not an option for your trip, try to book a flight with Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines. These have been rated the three greenest airlines based on their fuel efficiency ranking.
While you’re at your destination, try to walk, bike or take public transportation instead of sightseeing from your car. These healthy, interactive travel alternatives are also amazing ways to experience the local culture!
2. Sleep Green
True or False: Eco-accommodations are synonymous with spending more money? FALSE! With a small effort, you can find the perfect sustainable fit for your budget. First choose the level of comfort you want during your stay, then look for options. Camping is a number one choice for eco-travelers, but there are many green hotel options as well. If you do choose to stay in a hotel, take additional steps to ensure your travels are eco-friendly by participating in towel reuse programs or declining daily room service.
If your travels bring you to an ATRS Recycling city, be sure to locate your nearest Clothing & Shoe Recycler. If you can’t fit everything you’ve packed back into your suitcase along with your new souvenirs, you still have a way to divert unwanted items from landfill and help a local charity in the process!
Resources like Sustainable Travel International offer eco-friendly destinations and tips to green your vacation.
3. Enjoy Local Eco-Eats
If you’re already eco-minded, you probably have green eating habits too. But if you don’t, vacations are the perfect time to eat organic or sample the local cuisine! These options provide sustainable food sources are truly great ways to immerse yourself in the culture of your summer destination. At the same time you will discover new tastes and foods while supporting local communities.
4. Reduce Your Duplicate Footprint
Did you know that appliances and electronics always use energy when they’re plugged in, regardless of whether they are turned on? Before departing for vacation, be sure to unplug everything that isn’t essential. Additionally, don’t forget to turn off the lights and air conditioners while you’re traveling. These simple changes save energy and ensure you aren’t leaving a footprint in two places while on vacation. Plus your wallet will thank you when you return!
5. Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy
You are not on vacation everyday, so above all take full advantage of what your destination has to offer. And always remember: you don’t have to compromise your sustainable values to have a great time, so be your green self wherever you go!
The ATRS family wishes you a happy and eco-friendly summer! If you would like to share eco-travel tips with our readers, please post them on our Facebook page.