Nowadays, a responsible traveler is an eco-friendly traveler. It is essential to minimize your impact as a tourist and to support the local community of your travel destination. I’ve compiled some green travel tips to help keep your environmental footprint light as you prepare to embark on your next vacation. You that can refer to yourself as an eco-tourist!
Preparing for green travel
Tip 1: Book Non-Stop Flights
If it is in your budget to book a nonstop flight, the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks. While typically more expensive and harder to find, non-stop flights will get you to your destination faster and you won’t have to go to the trouble of making flight connections or navigating multiple airport terminals. The environmental benefit of flying non-stop is that you will reduce your carbon footprint as carbon is primarily emitted during a plane’s takeoff and landing.
Tip 2: Pack Light
Knowing which weather conditions to expect in a new destination will greatly reduce your need to pack unnecessary clothing and equipment. Of course, there are scenarios that will make it challenging to pack lightly such as climates with variable weather conditions or a trip with multiple destinations. Some ideas to keep in mind when packing are to bring only one jacket rather than multiple ones and to bring clothing that can be layered as well as mixed and matched throughout your trip.
During Your Travel
Tip 1: Recycle/Reuse
Water can especially be a hot commodity while you travel, but it pays to use it wisely. For example, make sure to bring a reusable water bottle that you can fill at your convenience. This will save you money and time if you don’t have to repeatedly search for and purchase bottles of water. It also reduces the amount of plastic waste that you generate as a consumer.
Another way to conserve water and energy resources is to reuse your towels and bed sheets in your hotel room. You can also wash your clothes by hand rather than send them out to be cleaned. Typically, hotels will now give you the option to not replace your towels and sheets each day as a single usage does not warrant the need to wash them.
Tip 2: Eco-friendly Tours
An environmentally responsible tour guide can offer you a more personalized and community-oriented experience wherever you may choose to travel. It helps to assess the group size of a tour before you book as smaller groups tend to create less impact on the local environment. It is also helpful to inquire about whether the tour will be led by a local guide as well as what sort of relationship the tour company has with the local community. A responsible tour company will typically give something back to the community such as visiting local businesses during their tour to stimulate small business revenue.
If you are on a guided hiking trip, be sure to stay on the trail and keep a safe distance from any wild animals. Either carry out any trash that you generate or dispose of it in the appropriate receptacles. Campfires should only be lit in designated areas and completely extinguished upon your departure from the campsite.
Favorite green destinations
Eco destination 1: Upstate New York
Destiny USA is the largest green mall in America.If you are looking for pristine countryside and beautiful lakeside destinations, Upstate New York should be at the top of your list. It is an ideal location for a weekend getaway in the northeastern United States.
The region offers myriad sightseeing options such as the idyllic finger lakes region featuring the popular Skaneateles Lake, diverse wine tours and tastings, as well as the world’s biggest green shopping mall. A must visit attraction, Destiny USA is the the world’s largest LEED certified and green shopping mall, recently opened near Syracuse. All this and much more await you during your visit to Upstate New York, offering the best of urban culture and country living.
Eco destination 2: Portland, Oregon
Earning the top ranking of America’s Greenest City for two years in a row, Portland, Oregon is a top destination for eco-tourism. Portland is a great city to experience in the outdoors and is an extremely bike friendly community. Some of the top sites to visit include the Saturday market, the Oregon Zoo, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Lan Su Chinese Garden. Your sightseeing excursions will be enhanced by some exercise, fresh air, and lush scenery.
With these helpful and eco-conscious tips in mind, your travel experience will surely be a positive and meaningful one. Even more so, the local community and environment will greatly benefit from your conscientious approach to travel.