Been saving up for that big family vacation? Because most kids are out of school, the summer months are a popular time for traveling, whether near or far, so the family can have some off-time together. The efforts people make to leave less of a carbon footprint at home often go out the window when people aren’t in their normal environments. However, there are some really simple and painless ways to go green while on vacation.
Trains, not planes.
If you are traveling less than 300 miles, a train is much greener option than taking flight. Planes use a lot of fossil fuels to get you from one place to another, whereas taking a train is a surprisingly ecologically friendly option. If you choose to drive, consider renting a hybrid car. You’ll help save the planet and save at the gas tank.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle).
Bringing your own reusable water bottle is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. On vacation people typically drink out of disposable plastic water bottles, and often aren’t given proper recycling options to dispose of them. Also, by bringing your own reusable bottle, you are cutting the high cost of bottled water, because most restaurant and hotels will offer you filtered water for free.
When traveling, forget looking for the comforts of home. After all, the whole point of leaving home is experiencing something different. If you’re in Greece, skip the American food and go for something more, well… Greek! By taking in the local fare, your food is more likely to be sourced from local farms. Need a souvenir? Forget the kitsch shops and buy something handmade from a street vendor.
Skip Maid Service.
Do you wash your towels and sheets every day at home? Then there’s no reason to have the hotel do that for you while you’re away. By refusing maid service, the hotel will not have to waste water and cleaning resources unnecessarily.
Take pictures, not artifacts.
When visiting a natural location, leave stuff where you found it. This is particularly true of shells and coral. Refrain from purchasing coral jewelry and shells from souvenir shops, as it is usually harvested illegally. Anything found in the ocean should be left there.
The most important thing to remember while on vacation is to enjoy yourself, your family, the planet and the time you have together. The memories will last a lifetime!