15 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel

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Traveling helps connect us to cultures and experiences across the globe, but it can also take its toll on the environment. Here are 15 ways to be eco-friendly on your next trip:

Transportation

1. Pack light. Pounds can add up when you’re flying, and the heavier the plane, the more carbon emissions it produces.

2. Book non-stop flights whenever you can. Takeoffs and landings create the most greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Opt for a mobile boarding pass rather than printing one out. This saves paper and gives you one less document to worry about misplacing.

4. Look into purchasing carbon offsets to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions you create by flying. While this doesn’t reduce the carbon dioxide produced when you fly, it does help you make up for it. Common offset projects include reforestation and renewable energy.

5. Travel on land as much as possible. Not only will this help reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll see more of your surroundings than you would on a plane.

6. Take public transportation. You’re not creating any more carbon emissions, and you get to interact with locals and experience the destination in a new way.

Hotels

7. Be mindful of your electricity and water usage. Turn off lights and air conditioning when you aren’t using them. Take showers instead of baths (they use less water) and keep them short. Hang up your towels so they aren’t changed every day.

8. Keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for the duration of your visit. You’ll be eliminating the need for cleaning chemicals, preserving electricity that would have been used to vacuum, and saving water by not having your sheets washed.

9. Bring your own toiletries in TSA-approved containers. If you do use the mini soap, shampoo, and conditioner provided by the hotel, take the partially used containers home with you. Housekeeping will generally throw these away when you leave, and you can reuse the plastic bottles later.

Other

10. Go reusable. Take your own shopping bags to local markets and bring along a water bottle to refill.

11. Eat and drink local. You’ll cut down on carbon emissions by consuming items that don’t need to be shipped in, while at the same time supporting the local economy!

12. Stay on marked trails when hiking so you don’t disturb plant or animal habitats.

13. Choose environmentally friendly activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching, and swimming.

14. Unplug unused appliances and electronics before you leave home. These consume electricity even when they’re not turned on. Put your house lights on a timer and put a hold on your newspaper delivery.

15. Pick up trash when you see it. It takes such little effort, yet helps in such a big way.

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