Studies have shown that the benefit from taking a vacation is all in planning the trip. Just imagine the fun you will have planning an eco-friendly vacation. Here are 24 tips anyone can take to travel green!

How to Get There:

  1. When flying, make sure you book non-stop flights whenever possible. Taking off and landing creates most of the airplane’s carbon emissions.
  2. If traveling alone, it is better to fly but if you are traveling with a group of people, taking a car is better for the environment.
  3. Consider renting a hybrid car or electric vehicle for road trips. These vehicles will use less fuel and produce less carbon emissions than your standard car or SUV.
  4. If time is not an issue, you should look into traveling via train, bus or ship. These modes of transportation generally have less of an environmental impact of driving or flying.

How to Stay in a Green Hotel:

  1. If you are traveling within the United States, you can check to see if the hotel is LEED certified. This certification makes sure the hotel is energy efficient, sustainable and innovative in design.
  2. Check to see if the hotel has a recycling program, if they do not, encourage them to start one.
  3. Ask about the hotels staff and resources. Companies who hire local staff and get their foods locally, are investing in their community and tend to be more sustainable.
  4. Look into the sustainability of the hotel. Make sure they are energy efficient by using solar power, low-flow toilets, etc.

How to Save Water:

  1. Remember your BPA-free water bottle. Always take a water bottle with you on vacation, so you can refill it over and over again.
  2. Sowers use less water than baths. In a shower you use about 10-25 gallons of water while taking a bath uses about 70 gallons of water.
  3. Take shorter showers or shower with a friend. You can also save on water by turning off the faucet while you brush your teeth or while you lather up.
  4. Reuse your towels. Once you are finished drying off, hang your towel so they maids will know you want to use your towel again.

How to Save Energy:

  1. Turn off all lights, the television, and the heat/AC every time you leave your room.
  2. To cut back on cleaning with chemicals, vacuuming with electricity and washing sheets with too much water, leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.
  3. Take your poo with you! The shampoo that is, always take any leftover soap, shampoo or toothpaste because unused portions are often thrown away and not recycled.
  4. Once you have finished using any tourist maps or brochures, return them to your hotel or tourist center for others to use.

How to Shop Green

  1. Remember your reusable shopping bag. Plastic bags not eco-friendly and they’re ugly, so ha!
  2. Buy local. This statement is true with everything but it makes sense to buy a product made locally rather than something from an assembly line in China.
  3. Do not buy photos or products from someone exploiting animals. A great example of this of the elephants who are forced to paint in Thailand.
  4. Support indigenous artisans. Buying directly from the artist, helps to preserve their culture as well as helps them feed their family.

How to Be a Traveler and Not a Tourist:

  1. Learn the language. We are not saying you need to study for a year before going on a trip but it may be helpful to know how to say “please”, “thank you” and “my name is.”
  2. Research the local customs. Knowing a little about the culture and appropriate behaviors will help you to not embarrass yourself and be respectful of their culture.
  3. Immerse yourself. Take advantage of being in another culture, try new foods, listen to different music and dance with the locals.
  4. Ask permission before taking a photo of someone because it can be considered rude or sacrilegious in their culture. Some people believe taking a person’s photograph is like stealing their soul.

Next time you are planning a trip, consider taking the extra effort to making it a green vacation. Comment below with any comments or suggestions, we look forward to hearing from you!