Top Tips for Sustainable Travel

shutterstock_43263751Planning for a vacation can be overwhelming enough without having to think about being eco-friendly and sustainable.  However, there are many little things you can do to green up your trip.

Many people are familiar with practices such as unplugging appliances in your home and making sure the lights are turned off before you leave for your adventure.  While that conserves energy and lowers your bills here at home, there are other things you can do while on your vacation that are just as productive.

If you’re energy conscious at home, it is important to keep up with your regimen while on vacation.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), unplugging laptop and cell phone chargers that aren’t in use, as well as turning the thermostat to an energy saving setting when you’re not in your room, are some effective ways to conserve resources.

Other than taking short showers, it might be difficult to think of other ways to conserve water.  Reusing towels and linens, as well as taking your clothes to a laundromat, or simply waiting until you get home, are great ways to reduce the amount of water used by your hotel.

I know some people dislike traveling with dirty clothes in their suitcases, but what many don’t know is that hotels have to wash each guest’s load of laundry individually, wasting a lot of water.

One way to ensure that your hotel is eco-conscious is to stay at an Energy Star winning hotel.  According to the EPA, Energy Star hotels “use at least 35 percent less energy and emit at least 35 percent less greenhouse gas emissions” than other hotels.

These are all great ways to conserve natural resources while on your trip.  But, what about things that you can do while you’re out exploring?

A major way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use public transportation instead of renting a car.  Though it may not be the most convenient way of getting around, it can be more cost effective, depending on your destination.  Better yet, a nice long bike ride is a great way to be outdoors and explore your vacation spot.

One of the most important facets of eco-tourism is that your visit should have a positive effect on your travel destination.  While you’re out and about, learn about the local environment and how you can help give something back to the community.

Buying from local artisans and eating at small family-owned restaurants is a mutually beneficial way to support the community.  Also, getting involved in preservation projects is a great way to enrich your vacation experience while making sure that the location remains pristine for others to enjoy.

Ultimately, to make the most of your vacation, research your destination and become familiar with ways to explore the area while contributing to the local community and ensuring its sustainability.

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Author: Sarah

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