Today’s society demands that we at least attempt to go green in most of our daily living. One of the toughest challenges in going green, is to do so while traveling. Jetsetting away to an exotic island isn’t exactly the best thing you can do for the environment. When traveling, something you want to consider, besides the usual cost and time scenarios, are what amount of carbon footprint you are leaving by exploring new places. While you can purchase credits to offset the damage you may do to the environment, I think it is much more fun to become creative by choosing to be an earth friendly traveler.
Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before determining a time, location, and destination for your trip:
-Do I need to travel via plane, bus, train or vehicle? Which option will leave the least impact on the environment, given my destination?
-Instead of leaving my home, can I do a “staycation” and enjoy my vacation time exploring nearby surroundings?
-Is the destination somewhere I will visit more than once? If I am considering visiting more than one time, can I allow myself more time off of work to do all the things I would like in 1 visit?
-Rather than using hotel resources that can use more disposable products, can I stay with a friend, family member, or somewhere greener?
-If I need a rent a vehicle, can I afford or have the option, to rent a hybrid?
-If I am planning to travel in the same general vicinity in the future, can I afford to visit all the places I would like in one trip?
In general, these questions will help you organize your thoughts and plans for the current vacation you have in mind, and for future ones. Consolidating your travel into one trip often economizes, and is greener for the environment.
Once you determine where to travel, keep in mind to pack light, bring re-usable containers for storing items such as snacks, trinkets and valuables and try to use as many green options as possible. Many restaurants and hotels now offer special green travel options that can keep your environment happy.