1. Go Biking
Reduce your carbon footprint and participate in Earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking and taking public transit. These alternatives are often cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car.
2. Reusable Bottles
A plastic bottle often travels thousands of miles before you buy it, so carry a reusable container or drink locally sourced water when you’re on the go.
3. Non-Stop Flights
Book non-stop flights whenever possible. A significant percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing.
4. Buy Local
When and wherever you travel, buy local products whenever possible instead of buying products that have been flown or shipped in from overseas. However, do not buy souvenirs or other products made from endangered animals or plants. In most cases, you can’t get them through customs anyway.
5. Working Farms
Stay at working farm that also functions as inn. This unique experience helps travelers connect with an area’s agricultural heritage –and they cost less than hotels.
6. Recycle Trash
Staying at a hotel? Make sure you ask about the hotel’s recycling program, and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn’t recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home and recycle them there.
7. Hike Marked Trails
Don’t veer off marked trails when hiking, and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in areas where permitted and be sure they’re completely extinguished before you leave.
8. Rent Hybrid Car
Choose the smallest vehicle or a hybrid when renting a car for travel. Decline any “free” upgrades that can cost you more in gas. Consider renting an economy car if your personal vehicle is a large, gas guzzler. You’ll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle.
9. Stay at Green Hotel
Eco credentials are ever more important in a hotel these days. More and more hotels are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints, as well as yours, when you stay in their rooms. When at all possible look for hotels that are either Green Seal or LEED Certified (or both!)– these venues are doing their best to help the environment, including using flow-restrictive shower heads, low flow toilets, energy efficient lighting and linen programs that reduce waste. When staying at these places, you’ll not only get the satisfaction of traveling green, but you’ll also enjoy perks like organic bath products, free hybrid parking and bicycle rentals. Some earth-friendly hotels also plant trees when you book a room or green package—or when you order a green martini!
10. Eat Local
Eating locally is one of the best ways to support a community. Try to shop at farmers’ markets and dine at restaurants with locally sourced ingredients.