Think "green" when planning your next trip!
You all know by now that I am a passionate environmental activist. Sometimes when we are travelling we tend to forget some of the things we normally do to preserve the environment. No matter where you are travelling it is easy to be conscious of your impact on the environment.
Here are some green travelling tips to help you have a fun and eco-friendly trip.
Look for hotel accommodations and tours that carry environmental friendly certifications or memberships in green industry associations - such as Green Seal or Green Leaf.
Several organisations have developed standards to measure the environmental initiatives of hotels and tours. Standards vary depending on the organisation; however, green hotels and tours include reducing energy consumption through fluorescent lighting, instituting recycling programs, conserving water either through installation of energy star products or by asking patrons to reuse towels and by purchasing local organic foods. When hotels and tours meet these standards, they are certified as “green.”
Select a hotel close to public transportation or near the places you are going to visit during your stay.
When flying, book electronic tickets. It reduces paper waste and you are less likely to lose your ticket.
Before you leave:
Pull the plug on any unnecessary appliances - such TVs, VCRs, stereos, toasters, and microwaves. These items can still use energy in their off mode.
While you're away:
If the hotel has an environmental program, participate as much as possible. If you have any questions about how, simply ask when you check in.
Never leave lights on when you are not in the room.
Adjust the room temperature when you leave the room for long periods of time so that it doesn't unnecessarily heat / cool your room while you are out.
If your destination is a warm climate then close the curtains. Or, if you have Venetian blinds, angle them up to bounce the sunlight off the ceiling. This will keep the room cooler. Conversely let the sun warm up your room during the day if you are in a cooler climate.
Leave unopened shampoo, soap, and other items in the hotel unless you are taking it home to use.
Avoid room service and carry-out which increase waste.
Use water sparingly. In some places this is a very scarce resource.
Never buy items made from endangered species.
Walk or use public transportation.
Grab only the maps and brochures that you will actually use. If you are in a large group, share brochures whenever possible.
Take pictures and leave the location as you found it. Never remove wildlife from its natural environment including shells, flowers and coral.
When hiking or camping, stay only in marked areas to avoid destroying vegetation.
Buy locally produced produce in order to reduce the pollution required to import goods.
Always carry your own straws. Most come with convenient brushes for cleaning them when you are back at your hotel.