Easy, Eco-effective Travel Tips
July 20, 2009 by The Dove
Wondering how small changes can make a big difference? Individually, they may not. But when enough of us make the changes we will make the world a more livable, sustainable place–and enjoy ourselves while we’re at it.
1. Go before you go.
If you want to avert a little CO2, use the airport lavatory, not the one on the plane, since, believe it or not, the fuel used for every mile-high flush could run a car for six miles. Plus, who doesn’t want to avoid the cramped, nasty-smelling airplane bathroom?
2. Do not disturb (the Earth, that is).
Four-star green hotels show that eco-friendly doesn’t mean cockroach-friendly. You’ll get efficient lighting and water fixtures, alternative fuel vehicles, and recycling. If 10,000 people stay at hotels with efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads, each night we’ll save enough water to fill 11,263 whirlpool bathtubs.
3. Lighten your eco-baggage.
Most luggage contains eco-unfriendly materials (like the plastic PVC, which lets off cancer-causing chemicals during production) that make us want to avoid the baggage carousel at all costs. Divine Caroline has durable, just as attractive options in the bag, made from materials like veggie-tanned leather and hemp.
4. Your hybrid, sir.
Wanna get chauffeured around in eco-style? Even airport car services are going green, with hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles available in many cities across the country. If 10,000 people opt for a Prius car service for a twenty-mile trip, we’ll keep the weight of 76 Priuses in CO2 from entering the atmosphere.
5. An appointment with the eco-shrink.
If skyscrapers and concrete are driving you crazy, maybe it’s time to take a trip outside. One study found that post-op patients who had a view of trees needed fewer painkillers and had shorter hospital stays, so a little dose of the great outdoors could be nature’s Rx. Plus, trips like hiking and camping tend to be less expensive and more relaxing — ahhh.
6. White powder, green resorts.
When it’s ski season, greener winter wonderlands exist in the form of eco-ski resorts. Realizing that global warming could cause shorter seasons, resorts are teaming up to go green, providing alternative fuel shuttles, introducing recycling programs, and installing solar panels.
7. Skip the plastic bottled water.
Americans use 4 million plastic bottles every hour–but only 1 in 4 is recycled. When on the go or in-flight, make sure to fill up a reusable bottle at the airport or in your hotel room, because believe it or not, bottled water isn’t always cleaner, and the production, shipment, and disposal of plastic water bottles are taking an enormous toll on the environment. Check out non-leaching, stainless steel SIGG bottles.
8. When nature calls.
Want to go wild on your next getaway? Choose from a huge variety of eco-adventures that get you off the beaten path, are sustainable, and support local economies. Not just for campers, you have the option of staying at boutique green hotels.
9. Chill out; get eco-pampered.
Rejuvenating, organic-oil aromatherapy and purifying enzyme baths sound like your thing? Check out an eco-spa. Eco-spas use non-toxic and biodegradable products on your bod, and some spas are even built using sustainable materials. The best eco-spas pay their workers fair wages and use non-toxic chemicals to clean their facilities.