Travel can be fun — and eco-friendly, too
Many people go to great lengths to adhere to eco-friendly lifestyles at home. That devotion to the environment may or may not continue when they travel, but it is entirely possible for travelers to take their eco-conscious behaviors with them on the road.
Whether traveling for personal or professional reasons, travelers can implement a handful of simple strategies to reduce their carbon footprints while away from home.
• Rent a hybrid or eco-friendly vehicle. If you will be renting a car during your trip, book a hybrid vehicle or a small, fuel-efficient model to cut back on fuel consumption. Many vehicles are now equipped with “eco mode,” a feature that typically forces the transmission to upshift sooner than it normally would in an effort to conserve fuel. Cars in eco mode may seem somewhat sluggish, but that sluggishness is actually the eco mode doing its job. It might take some getting used to, but driving in eco mode can help travelers reduce their vehicles’ fuel consumption.
• Reuse towels at the hotel. Many hotels now ask guests to reuse tow- els in order to conserve water. Guests who want to make their hotel stays as eco-friendly as possible should work with hotels and reuse their towels for as long as possible. If visiting a resort, try to use the same pool or beach towel for as long as possible as well.
• Patronize restaurants that offer locally grown foods. Another way to be eco-friendly when traveling is to eat your meals at restaurants that use only locally grown foods and ingredients. Eating local reduces the need to transport foods across long distances, cutting back on fuel costs as a result. In addition, proponents of eating local foods insist that locally grown foods taste fresher than foods brought in from afar.
• Use mass transportation. When possible, use mass transportation rather than relying on taxis or car services. Take a bus or train from the airport to your hotel, and ride the subway or just walk when sightseeing. Many travelers insist that riding mass transportation when visiting a city provides a much more realistic experience of life in that city than traveling by cab or driving alone.