Go green when on the go

For those who love to travel, the idea of jet setting to the far reaches of the Globe may seem like a dream come true; I too have may places and sights I'd love to see before I turn into compost!  But when one is looking to go green when it comes to traveling what can you do to improve your status as an ethical consumer?  The fact is, much of travel is going to be contributing to greenhouse gas emissions through the flights, car rides, and other transportation processes alone.  Yet there are still ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and still have an exciting holiday getaway.

The first way you can go green and limit the amount of environmental impact you have is by cutting down on  the load you take with you.  If you are flying, or even driving for that matter, the heavier your luggage is the more of an effect that is going to have in the way of emissions.  Do what you can to stick to the necessities and avoid those cute little travel sized goodies.  Those little bottles of toothpaste and tiny lotions may be handy but they are going to contribute more waste when you use them up in only a few days' time.  You can mimic the same idea with smaller re-usable tubes or containers that can do the same trick.  Then when you do head out the door, make sure to unplug all the appliances around the home  so that you can reduce the amount of wasted energy consumption there and then set your thermostat accordingly (up or down a few notches depending on the time of year) so that you can limit the amount of energy you home is using while you are away.

If you are heading to the air port, you could do Mother Nature a favor and opt for public transportation there instead of taking your car. Should that not be an option do what you can to limit the amount of vehicles that are used; if you are going with extended relatives try to set up a carpool!  Getting back to the flight, if you can try to make it as direct as possible; the less stop overs, the greener your plane ride will be.  If you are hitting the road for a car trip, make sure that before you head out you have it up to the most efficient standards such as inflated tires, cleaned filters, and the like so that it will be able to run the most miles with the least amount of gas and emissions.

Alright, so when you've hit paradise still practice those same go green home habits you've adopted.  You may not have energy efficient CFLs in your hotel rooms but you can turn out the lights when you don't need them, same goes with the TV and DVD, and also if its sunny outside open the shades and let the sun light up the area.  As for that laundry service, which constitutes an enormous amount of energy wasted on the hotel's side, let the front desk know that you don't need your sheets and towels changed every day and you could be decreasing your environmental impact significantly; especially if you are going to be a guest for an extended amount of time.  Finally, in being an ethical consumer you should help give back to the local economy when you can. That means looking for ways to reinvest and bolster their profits such as choosing a small restaurant over a chain, going into family owned stores for souvenirs, and other little things.  You can still keep your green habits and travel too; you just need to think before you set off.

Photo credit: Epsos