I am a very Earth conscious guy, and I always try to do whatever possible in order to reduce my carbon footprint. I follow this same philosophy when I travel. Just because you are enjoying a trip doesn’t mean that you can’t be green. The following are some tips that you can use in order to have a great trip while reducing your carbon footprint.
Before Your Trip
You can do a lot of things to reduce energy consumption before you even embark on your trip. For example, when you are booking your trip, try to book a flight that does not have any layovers. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and fuel for an aircraft to take off from the airport, so a trip that has a couple of stops increases your carbon footprint dramatically.
Additionally, more weight on the airplane causes more fuel use, so make sure to pack light. Take a little time to check out the weather at your destination and pack accordingly. Pack what you know you will need to enjoy your trip, not necessarily what you think you might need. For example, if you are going to a destination of colder weather, pack just one jacket instead of multiple. Obviously, if just one person does this it won’t make too much of a difference, however if more and more passengers start packing this way, it will quickly add up to make a difference! Aside from helping the environment, there are a few added benefits to you, including: less baggage to carry around and as you will avoid paying baggage fees for having multiple or heavy bags.
During Your Trip
It is easy to be Earth friendly during your trip. Just do what you do at home and you will be set. For example, eat at local restaurants and shop at local stores. This helps support the local community and economy and reduces the need for food and goods to be shipped in from far away! By engaging in the local community, you support locally owned businesses, restaurants, and markets.
If you are going to rent a car, rent a fuel-efficient vehicle or hybrid, they are the way to go. This will minimize your energy consumption and make you one of the greenest travelers around. Popular mid-size sedans like an Altima can get 38 mpg on the highway. If you need a bigger SUV for your family vacation, consider the fact that GMC, for example, offers SUVs with hybrid power trains. A gasoline engine teams up with an electric motor. The big improvement is in city driving, where EPA ratings are often as good in the city as they are on the highway. Imagine a full-size SUV getting 22 or 23 mpg, even in the city.
Upstate New York is a terrific destination for carbon conscious travelers. There is beautiful scenery to be found in the Finger Lakes Region. This region is full of the most gorgeous and pristine lakes to be found. Skaneateles Lake in particular is among the ranks of the cleanest lakes in the world. Travelers will also find award winning wineries scattered throughout the lakes here. For those who may not be as much into scenic locations as others, but still prefer to be green, head towards the city of Syracuse where they will find Destiny USA. This shopping mall is the largest “green” shopping mall in the world! It has also been LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Portland, Oregon has been designated “America’s Greenest City” for the second year in a row, so naturally, it would be a great idea to visit for a green vacation. Portland is a very bike-friendly community! Why not get a little exercise, go green, and sightsee all at the same time, right? Travelers will enjoy places like the Saturday Market, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and the Oregon Zoo.
As you can see, being green during your trip does not have to be difficult. With a bit of preparation before your trip and some Earth friendly decisions during, you can be sure that you will have a great time and leave a very small carbon footprint in the process.