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