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By: Admin    May 10 2017 , 10:26 am
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Traveling tends to be on everyone’s minds during this time of year. Summer is ideal for booking spontaneous trips and sight-seeing expeditions. But when planning your next getaway, keep in mind that there are many simple choices you can make to have a more eco-friendly and waste-free vacation!

You may be wondering why traveling green is a positive and beneficial thing to do. Primarily, it is a way for you to show respect, to be responsible to the environment, and to be a gracious visitor to the foreign society you will be experiencing. Nobody appreciates a wasteful or rude guest in their home – traveling to a different place is similar, as you are an outsider in this place and conscientiousness is an ideal way to give back for the beautiful sights and experiences.

First and foremost, pack light and sparingly. The lighter you and your luggage are, the less energy you will need to travel from Point A to Point B. This is also a great idea for your own mental energy as well, since you will have fewer belongings to worry about and a lighter load to carry. The most common pitfall travelers run into is packing too many outfits or shoes – you need fewer clothes than you think to make it through a trip! Pack versatile clothing that can be converted or used multiple ways in different outfits. Check out this packing guide from the Independent Traveler for more tips.

Make room in your luggage for reusable materials. This is important, because you will be wasting fewer materials as you travel. A reusable water bottle can be filled up at restaurants or water fountains wherever you go. A reusable bag or two can be used to hold your souvenir purchases and other miscellaneous items, and reusable containers are a great way to store your own food, instead of resorting to takeout containers that get thrown away.

While staying in a foreign place, look into greener forms of transportation, such as biking or even walking. Many hot travel destinations are easy to navigate on foot, so pack a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots and hop to it!

If you are staying at a hotel, make the extra effort to ensure all lights and air climate controls are turned off before leaving the room, keep water usage to a minimum, reuse towels and sheets during your stay, and put any recyclables into the proper receptacle. Hotels are not the only place to spend nights abroad: online options such as Airbnb or Couchsurfing are great ideas that will expend fewer resources than staying in a typical hotel.

Sustainable Travel International has an online carbon calculator that you can input your travel details into and adjust accordingly to ensure you are maintaining a light carbon footprint while traveling.

Your common sense should inform you for how to travel conscientiously as well. Simple things, such as not picking flowers or leaves while walking through a nature trail, keeping quiet and not leaving food debris so local animals remain undisturbed, taking all trash with you and disposing of them in proper receptacles – these are all good ideas to minimize your impact and ensure you are being a respectful guest during your trip.

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Kristen Pesta May 10,2017

I'm heading to Las Vegas in a few weeks for a wedding- I'll definitely be using these tips! Awesome!

Erik Donaldson Aug 29,2017

A carbon calculator? Interesting concept. Will definitely check it out.

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