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10 Tips for Greener Travel


Many of us recycle and conserve water to help the environment, but when we travel our sustainability, practices are forgotten. With a few considerations, we can enjoy our trips while keeping our impact on the environment to a minimum.

Before you leave for your trip, turn everything completely off. Make sure you unplug all your appliances, televisions, computers and radios. Adjust your home thermostat and water heater so they do not continue to run. Suspend your newspaper subscription while you are away.

Book tours through organizations offering an eco-tour experience. To ensure that they are a credible organization, ask them if they are members of any green organizations or if they have any green certifications.

Choose environmentally friendly hotels. Some features of environmentally friendly hotels are fluorescent lighting, energy star product installations and local organic food served in their restaurants. These hotels usually have a recycling program and may ask you to reuse your towels.

Make travel arrangements using green associations as a source. Green hotels, tours and restaurants often have memberships and certifications with green industry associations. Consult with their directories when choosing a hotel, restaurant or tour.

Conserve water during your stay. Request that maid service not change your linen and towels. Bring a bag to take your dirty laundry home with you. Take short showers. Do not leave the water on when you brush your teeth.

Conserve energy by turning off electrical appliances when not in use. Adjust heat or air-conditioners to settings to use less energy. Close curtains at night. On cold nights, this will conserve heat and on hot nights, this will conserve air-conditioning. If you need a night-light, bring one. Do not leave a light on in the room.

Recycle. Do not accept newspapers you will not read. Recycle the newspaper if you accept it. Bring your own coffee mug and drinking cup to avoid using the disposable ones provided by the hotel.

When dining out, choose an environmentally sensitive car service like Exclusive Sedan to get to the restaurant. Choose restaurants that have adopted green practices, including locally purchasing the food they serve. Only order what you can eat so you do not throw away food. If you take home leftovers, request the restaurant wrap them in aluminum foil or wax paper, not plastic wrap. Do not let them put your food in a Styrofoam container and only accept a plastic bag for your food if you need it. Only take condiments, napkins and utensils that you will use with your takeout food.

When sightseeing, use a digital camera to take pictures instead of a disposable camera. A digital camera can be used repeatedly, while a disposable camera is used once and then disposed of. Do not remove natural items like rocks and plants. Do not litter, carry an extra bag for trash that cannot be immediately disposed of. Using a green car service like Exclusive Sedan is another option for sightseeing. The driver can take you anywhere you want to go.

Provide feedback to management about your experience. If you use accommodations that are not green, let management, know that you would have preferred a green experience. If your accommodations were green, let them know that you chose them in part because of their green policies.

Posted on Apr 01 2011

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