• Leave no Carbon Footprint Behind: Eco-friendly Travel Advice

    2014-05-06

    As a traveler who is conscious about LEED certified buildings, organic food and sustainable travel, I try hard to justify my choices from the hotel I stay at to the water I drink.

    And with good reason.

    With every choice we make, conscious or otherwise, we are disturbing or enhancing the world we leave to future generations. And yes, your choices DO matter.

    Look for Conscious, Committed Hotels
    Many hotels are incorporating green initiatives into their brand programs and cutting back on being wasteful wherever possible. Dedicated efforts such as providing filtered water, low-flow showers, environmentally friendly cleaning products, recycle bins, use of organic linens and even through support of local businesses are popping up around boutique and large hotels alike. Designations such as the LEED certificate or the Palm program in Florida are just a few of the programs that indicate a hotel or resort has environmentally sound practices set in place.

    Do Conserve Energy
    Most hotels now offer a keycard-activated on/off electricity option in rooms but if yours doesn't, switch off all the lights that are not in use. This applies to idle bathroom and hallway lights too.

    Volunteer if You Can
    Some hotels and resorts offer easily accessible voluntourism programs that allow guests to learn about local conservation efforts and lend a helping hand without ever leaving the property. Of course, a vacation is a vacation, but contributing to important eco efforts can add depth to a visit and help preserve species for posterity.

    Be Mindful of Waste
    Being conscious of recycling efforts is a simple and conscientious way to be kind to the environment while traveling. Plastic and waste on the beach can end up harming aquatic life and also damage submarines and other vessels in the ocean. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you see others doing damage to a beautiful place --- or at least encourage them to use the trash cans instead of littering.

    We live in a disposable age, and it's helpful to be somewhat limiting if you want to reduce waste. Do you really need multiple napkins? Can you turn off lights after leaving the room? Do you need another plastic plate for buffet table seconds? All these choices matter whether you’re in your hometown or exploring the ends of the earth.



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