Want to go green when you travel but aren’t sure how to go about it? Doing your part for the environment is okay when you’re at home: recycling, using low-energy light bulbs, washing clothes at low temperatures, and walking or cycling to work are all relatively easy-to-do examples of green living. However, what do you do when you travel? A green vacation doesn’t start when you arrive at your destination. It starts much earlier. If you travel green, or are thinking of traveling green, please consider the following before you do so.

Where are you going? If you are thinking of going abroad, why? Consider visiting places of interest closer to home, which can be reached by train or bicycle, rather than by plane, car, or boat. Many worldly people have never seen the beauty of their own country, opting instead for vacations in other parts of the world. This is not just a shame in terms of what they are missing out on, but how much harder air travel is on the environment.

How are you going to get there? If you travel by car, can you carpool? Also known as shared vehicles, shared lifts, or shared rides, ads for drivers and passengers can be found in local newspapers and online quite easily. You could even team up with family, friends, or neighbors and have a party. Alternatively, you can rent (or even borrow!) an electric, hybrid electric or biodiesel car, which will substantially reduce fuel costs as well as CO2 emissions. Word of warning: make a reservation! There are a variety of hybrid cars on the road today, however, as the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, and Nissan Altima are the lowest in the price range, they tend to be the most popular, so they sell out the fastest. If air travel is your only practical means of getting to your destination, consider the airlines that have adopted green policies, from carbon offsetting and waste disposal plans (British Airways), to buying greener aircraft (Air One ), to conserving fuel and adapting routes to be more ecological (American Airlines). The airlines, who are the worst culprits, have much more to explain, due to the release of additional chemicals into the air along with the CO2. Furthermore, the magnitude of the damage caused by this cocktail of chemicals increases due to the altitude at which they dissipate from the aircraft. To see what is being done within the aviation industry to combat this, take a look at www.enviro.aero

Going green for cruise companies is a lower priority, at least for now, and only a few, such as Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises, have adopted policies that detract from the amount of waste dumped at sea and greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 discharged into the sea. environment every navigation. However, small sailboats such as hybrid catamarans and yachts, some even made from recycled materials, are a greener alternative, although they tend to be more expensive to rent.

Where will you stay? Today it’s hard to find a hotel or even a hotel chain that doesn’t have at least a small eco-friendly policy, whether it’s offering you the option to change your towels less often or putting a newspaper in a common room, yet some places they just try harder than others. Examples of locations that tick all the boxes include Rainbow Retreat in Tasmania, Australia, Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Pattaya, Thailand, Gaia Napa Valley, California, USA, and Cote How Organic Guest House in Cumbria, UK. For a list of hotels and how “green” they are in virtually any country, visit www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com

Compensate your carbon emissions Sometimes it’s just not possible or feasible to do things exactly the way you’d like, in which case why not just offset your carbon? Paying to finance a program that helps the environment is an easy way to neutralize your carbon emissions, and you can find a multitude of options available online to help you do so. In many cases, it is a small sum to pay to get the biggest burden off your shoulders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *