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Green Travel Pocket Guide
Bon Voyage
Whether you’re planning a trip to Australia or Zambia, these 16 tips will help reduce your carbon footprint.

Planning

  • Book direct flights, or as few transfers as possible (takeoffs and landings use lots of fuel).
  • Rent a hybrid minivan and vacation with friends to save on fuel and costs.
  • Vacation closer to home and visit nearby state or national parks, or even local amusement parks. 
  • If you’re visiting an exotic locale, consider doing an eco-volunteer vacation.
  • When booking accommodations, whether at home or abroad, ask about environmental certifications, like Sustainable Travel International or Green Globe.
  • Trains are a great way to travel; Amtrak’s Northeast trains, which run on electricity, are the cleanest rail option. So consider a trip to New York, Boston, or Washington, D.C.
  • When flying, avoid booking a first-class seat, which takes twice as much room and therefore twice as much carbon as an economy seat.
  • A bus will cut your carbon in half, even compared with a hybrid car; taking a bus instead of flying can cut your emissions by 75 percent. Visit GotoBus.com, Greyhound, Peter Pan Bus, Trailways.
  • Fly airlines with newer, more efficient fleets.

Packing

  • Fly light—lugging aboard 10 extra pounds per passenger requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel
    annually (enough to fly a 747 continuously for a decade).
  • Bring your own reusable water bottles.
  • Pack snacks/meals in reusable containers.

Traveling

  • Traffic congestion boosts emissions, so avoid driving
    during peak times.
  • Save fuel by properly inflating your tires.
  • At your destination, ask about public transportation, or even rent bikes.
  • Support sustainable local businesses. Check these websites: greenmap.org for shops and activities, dinegreen.com for certified eco restaurants, and localharvest.org for farmers’ markets.

Sources: Union of Concerned Scientists; The Green Book, by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen.

 

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