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Being a Green Traveler

Are you concerned about the world’s natural resources? Are you interested in protecting the environment? Are you aware of your impact on the areas you visit? Do you take efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle even when traveling? If so, you might just be a green traveler. Here are some tips for you as you plan your next excursion.

Pack lightly. The weight of luggage (multiply your luggage weight by the number of passengers the plane holds to get an idea) can greatly affect the plane’s use of fuel.

Pack clothing that doesn’t need to be ironed. Saves you time at the “fun place” as well as saving energy.

Take a “travel shopping bag” with you. They don’t take much room in your luggage and you can tell the shopkeepers to keep their disposable bags. If you don’t have one, check at your local grocery store. Most of them now have disposable shopping bags for sale. They’re lightweight, washable and expandable.

Take your own shampoo and soap. Packaging is expensive and not very eco-friendly. Those little toiletry bottles that the hotels provide are mostly packaging. By taking your own, you reduce not only the air pollutants that are created when the packaging is made, but the waste that goes into the landfills.

Unplug your appliances from the wall before you leave home. When you make your “I’m going on vacation” list, put this at the top, so you won’t forget.

Eat less meat. Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, some of it to create grazing land for livestock. Eating meatless a couple of times a week will help reduce your waistline and help the earth at the same time.

Plan how you’ll travel to use less fuel and reduce emissions. Train travel makes less impact on the environment than plane travel. Take public transportation whenever possible. It saves emissions, fuel and even some of your hard-earned money.Opt for the economical gas-saving model when you rent a car. Most of these cars are quite comfortable…..and cheaper.

Let the hotel know they don’t need to change your sheets and towels every day……saves water and energy.

Take shorter showers. Taking long showers is a great way for lots of us to relax. But most of us can find another way to relax that won’t negatively impact the earth. How about a relaxing walk? You’ll not only reduce your water and energy consumption, but you might even get rid of the “spare tire”.

When you leave your hotel room for the day or evening, turn off the lights and television. Close the drapes and set the thermostat at an “away” setting. You can heat it up or cool it down when you return.

Make sure you dispose of refuse appropriately. Throwing something out of the car window, even food, harms the environment and can harm animals who seek out those good-smelling papers that covered your hamburger or fries. Keep a bag in the car that you can empty when you stop or at the journey's end. Putting your disposables in it only takes a minute.

Purchase keepsakes and trip mementos that you know you will keep. That cute plastic plum you got from the roadside orchard won’t disintegrate when you throw it away at home………in the landfill. Leave it at the orchard gift shop. Purchase a gourd or some dried flowers…things that will remind you of the trip yet can be disposed of easily when you’ve tired of them.

There are websites galore that will provide you with lists of hotels, motels and B&Bs that utilize a green approach to their side of the travel industry.

Using these tips and searching out green alternatives will help you leave a greener trail behind you.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Pam Cartwright. All rights reserved.
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