It Is Easy Being Green on the Road
Friday, May 13, 2011
Living green on the road is more than just a good idea. With close to 1 billion tourists traversing the globe every year, doing our best to preserve natural resources and be culturally and environmentally aware is our duty as a citizen of the planet. The good news is that you don’t have to be roughing it in the outback to make a difference. Traveling green is easier than you think.
Green Travel Tips
- Measure and Offset Your Carbon Footprint. Traveling by plane, train, bus or automobile leaves behind a carbon footprint. Start with a nonprofit site like the Nature Conservancy to figure out what your impact is on climate change, and then invest in one of the offsetting programs, ranging from reforestation to renewable energy projects.
- Start Before You Even Leave Home. Adjust the thermostat to keep the air conditioning and heat from running needlessly, use a timer instead of leaving lights on and turn the temperature down on your water heater. Unplug all small appliances and electronics to keep from wasting resources while you’re away.
- Take advantage of green hotel options. Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM givesguests the option of reusing towels and sheets instead of having them changed every day, a big energy and water savings when multiplied by 488 hotels worldwide. Add in energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and showers, and responsible recycling programs, and your choice of hotel can make a difference.
- Pack a water bottle. Don’t add to the world’s 2.7 million tons of plastic used for bottled water. Refill a reusable container to quench your thirst responsibly. Plus, those recycled bottles are used in many new products. For instance, Country Inns & Suites’ employee uniforms are made from recycled plastic bottles.
- Take public transport or bike. Cities like Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah; Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C., offer excellent (in Park City’s case, free!) public transport, along with ample biking opportunities to get you moving on your own steam. If you need to rent a car, make it an economy size or hybrid.
- Keep it local. Visit farmers’ markets and shop in mom and pops instead of big box stores. Buy fair-trade products as souvenirs to make sure your cash makes a local impact.
- Support green companies. These could include outdoor outfitters, LEED-certified museums, pick-your-own farms or tour operators. One place to start is Sustainable Travel International, which offers a list of certified Green Travel Suppliers to get your trip off to an earth-friendly start.