Vacation season is in full swing. National Parks, Interstates, country back roads, airports, international rendezvous– no matter where or what your summer plans are here are some ways you can travel green this summer.
Before you hit the road make sure unnecessary electronics are unplugged, as they will draw electricity while you are gone. Additionally, make sure all the lights in the house are turned off and nothing is still plugged into chargers. This allows you to reduce your energy consumption and save you some bucks!
Be considerate of what you’re bringing on your trip. Only pack things you know are necessary. This will reduce;
- the number of things you have to tote around– less strain!
- reduce the water it will take to wash your clothes
- increase your MPG’s as you will have less weight in your vehicle
- save you money if you’re checking bags for a flight
When eating, eat locally. This will help support the local community as well as reduce your footprint. For example, don’t eat beef on an island without any cows!
Just be mindful of your consumption and use reusable bags for transporting any goods you may purchase.
If flying to your destination, consider a few of these green options during your travels.
- Direct flights. The majority of a plane’s emissions are expelled upon taking off, so consider a trip with the fewest number of layovers.
- Additionally, some airlines offer the option to purchase carbon offset credits to offset the emissions you’ll produce while flying. Take advantage of this if it within your budget!
- Consider packing some snacks, this will save you money and keep those free peanut bags out of the landfill.
- Here’s a life hack for you, don’t settle for a $5 bottle of water while waiting on your flight–bring a reusable water bottle with you (most restaurants at airports will give you the hook up on some ice) and most airports have water fountains capable of filling your water bottle up.
Camping provides an opportunity to enjoy nature even after the sun goes down. It is also a cheaper alternative to a hotel. However, if camping isn’t up your alley then there are ways you can make your hotel stays eco-friendly.
- Be mindful of your energy consumption– keep the AC low, turn off the TV when not in use and don’t leave the lights on. Reusing your towels can also allow you to be greener as the hotel staff will not need to wash them as frequently– saving water.
- Some hotels even offer green programs. For example, IHG hotels offer rewards members who defer housekeeping during their stays additional reward points, which you can use to free hotel nights! Just a way to say thank you for being green 🙂
- Inquire about your hotel’s recycling. If your hotel does not offer recycling, consider taking recyclables to a local recycling center.
Road tripping to get where you need to go? We already mentioned lessening the load on your vehicle, but here are some additional options for maximizing your fuel efficiency this summer;
- Slow it down! Keeping your speed under 55 miles per hour can increase your fuel efficiency by 10-15%.
- Use cruise control- it’ll boost your fuel mileage as you will avoid having to use the gas pedal as much.
- Controlling your braking as stopping and going can increase fuel consumption by 40%. Not to mention the wear and tear on your brake pads.
- Check your vehicle! As always, you should monitor your vehicle’s tire pressure and oil. Making sure there is adequate oil and air in your tires can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 5%!
- Find the fastest route. Know where you want to go, and get there by driving the shortest distance from A to B. However, if there is a detour through a scenic area, then ignore this tip 🙂
- Open the windows and enjoy the fresh air instead of the A/C
Additionally, make sure you are disposing of plastic properly– recycle! As an added bonus, fill up with RENEW before taking off on your trip and reduce your emissions by up to 30%.
The road goes on forever, get out and see something new! Safe travels this summer!