Planning a Jolly Green Holiday
Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to leave your eco friendly values behind. Nowadays there are a multitude of options for people who want to enjoy a more “eco-friendly” vacation. Options can range from staying in a green certified hotel and eating only local produce to a environmental cleanup themed volunteer-cation. The website GreenTravelerGuides.com is a good starting resource for anyone looking for eco friendly travel advice. After looking at their website I have put together a list of tips and considerations for planning your next vacation.
1. Green Certification
When looking where to stay an important aspect to consider is green certification. Green certification relates to a business’s operational and sustainability practices including energy and water conservation, air quality, and housekeeping practices . There is a wide range of certification programs that range from independent verification to programs that require regular recertification and continuous improvement. For a list of trustworthy certifications (both American abroad) click here.
2. Carbon Offsetting
According to Green Traveler Guides website, a flight from New York to Honolulu emits and average of 2 ½ tons of greenhouse gases. Travel websites like Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz now provide options for people interested in offsetting their carbon footprint. Continental Airlines lets travelers keep track of their carbon impact and Delta Airlines sells offsets through their website. For information on how to carbon offset you vacation click here.
3. Eat Sustainably
If the option is available try to eat organic and locally grown food. Not only does this support local businesses, but organic food is also healthier for you and growing practices are less destructive to the environment. To minimize your environmental impact when ordering seafood, try to stick to local varieties that are not overfished or varieties that have been responsibly horticultured.
4. If Not Walk
If you plan on renting a car during your vacation opt for a “greener” model like a hybrid or one that runs on biofuel. Car companies like Enterprise and Budget now have “green” car options in select US locations. Also instead of taking a taxi or private shuttle service instead use public transportation. Most cities have multiple options (bus, train, subway, streetcar..) that can get you to your destination for a cheap price and with less environmental impact then a private service
These tips can be adapted to a wide span of vacations, whether you plan on traveling by plane to a elaborate exotic destination or just plan on a low key escape from the usual 9 to 5. Though vacations are about fun it is important to consider the impact your vacation will be having on the environment while planning.