Taking good care of our planet by reducing our carbon footprint has become of growing importance for many people. Devotion to this effort doesn’t have to fade during travel. By choosing eco-friendly products and transportation options it is possible to extend your commitment to the Earth while experiencing her beauty away from home.
Products and Services
- Skip the travel sized items. Instead, invest in small reusable containers that you can pour toiletries into from the larger containers at home. This eliminates waste and also helps to keep your pack light. Packing your bags is the first step you can take towards eco friendly travel. The lighter you pack, the easier it will be to utilize other eco friendly travel methods.
- Say no to the turn-down service at your hotel. Other than a freshly made bed and a fancy fold on your toilet paper you probably won’t notice the work done. This will save power from vacuuming and reduce the use of cleaning chemicals. Reusing towels & sheets helps to conserve water.
- Turn it off! Chances are pretty good that you watch your energy conservation at home. Being on the road is no different. Lights and air conditioning/ heat should be turned off when you aren’t in the room. As tempting as it can be to leave the air conditioning on for a cool welcome when you return, it is worth note that even lower rated hotels have very quick cooling systems making it just plain wasteful to leave them running.
- Watch what you eat. Travel can often mean experimenting with new foods and indulging in things your normally wouldn’t. If you are not sure if you will like something, try to acquire a sample first. Wasting food is a misuse of our precious resources and should be watched closely.
- When booking your flights the most eco friendly choice to book non-stop direct flights. These use the least amount of fuel and are often more full making the overall fuel cost per person much better (thus comparatively lower carbon footprint). Another eco friendly move would be to support airlines that have shown commitment to developing fuel alternatives to reduce carbon emissions. British airways and Virgin are both leaders on the forefront of eco friendlier air travel.
- Public transportation is almost always a great option. This becomes a no brainer when your travel involves going overseas. Public transportation not only cuts our carbon footprint but is often the easiest, cheapest and most efficient way to get from one place to another. Look for hotels with shuttle buses or in locations near to bus, train or subway stations. Remember, although renting a car may seem to put you in greater control, traffic, unknown routes and other unexpected driving issues can greatly extend your time behind the wheel and actually increase your emissions. If you must use a car for the bulk of your travel just remember that options such as hotel shuttles are great temporary alternatives for eco travel. Every little bit counts.
- Use some man power! Bicycles are available for rental in many cities around the world. Walking is also a great option for travelers. Not only is it the most eco-friendly mode of transportation, but it allows you to really experience your location. Utilize your man power to travel the roads less traveled and really engage yourself in local customs and ambiance.
Traveling for the eco-conscientious can be both easy and effective for anyone. With a little foresight and knowledge you can feel good about your choices while vacationing. Keep in mind that there are also some great activities for the eco friendly traveler. From eco tours to enjoying local events, minimizing your carbon footprint is easy and will enhance your travel experience.
Jamie Myers is a writer for Thailand Holidays, an online travel guide with customer reviews, tips, and advice for Thailand travel.