Green Tips: Summer Travel

Green Tips | July 12, 2018

Many families travel during the summer while school is out and the weather is warm. Sometimes flying is the best way to get where you’re going, and while airlines are making small strides to become more fuel efficient, planes still contribute a large amount of carbon into the atmosphere. To make your vacation more environmentally friendly, we’ve put together some tips for you to consider when planning your next trip:

Take non-stop flights: The majority of carbon emitted from airplanes is released during take-off and landing. If you must fly, look for non-stop flights.

Decide which mode of transportation to use: Depending on how many people are in your group, driving may be the greener way to get where you’re going. Flying creates about 50% more carbon dioxide per person than driving when only one person is in the car. For a trip with four people, flying will create 86% more carbon dioxide. Traveling via train is even more energy-efficient than driving. Taking a train can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%. Using websites like Terrapass gives you the ability to donate to emission reduction projects to offset the carbon emissions you create while traveling.

Rent a hybrid or electric car: If you’re driving a long distance, consider renting a hybrid. Try renting an all-electric vehicle to travel locally at your destination. Since electric cars produce zero tailpipe emissions, this is another good alternative to flying and driving a car with a conventional engine. Many car rental companies including Enterprise, Alamo, and Hertz now offer hybrid and electric vehicle options.

Stay in a green hotel: Stay in a hotel with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. LEED buildings receive this certification based on their building materials, water usage, energy efficiency, and production of waste.

Take home leftover hotel soap: Partially used mini-bottles of shampoo and soap bars all get thrown away after a stay at a hotel. Bringing these home with you will reduce waste and save you money, as you can reuse the bottles for your next trip. Mini toiletry products can also be donated to your local shelters, intake centers, or other general welfare providers such as Amenity Aid.

Protect wildlife: While shopping, avoid buying souvenirs that were made with endangered animals. Avoid tours that promise hands-on experiences with wild animals. Make sure to treat other places with the same respect you’d treat your own neighborhood: don’t litter and make sure your activities don’t disturb natural habitats.

For more tips for sustainable travel, click here.

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