Do you behave differently away from home? Do you consume more processed foods because they are "convenient"? Do you toss all plastic bottles and cups? Do you use new towels every day when staying in hotels?
You can still be an eco-friendly traveler without sacrificing luxury and comfort. You can visit big cities or small cities. You can fly or drive. You can stay in luxury hotels or small eco-lodges. Below are a few of my practical and eco-friendly tips for staying green when traveling:
1. Bring a reusable water bottle. Leave it empty until you go through security, then fill up at the water fountain and avoid the exorbitant prices of plastic water bottles. Continue to use the water bottle when you arrive at your destination.
2. Bring your own snacks, in reusable snack bags. Cloth snack bags pack and travel much better than plastic bags, which can tear if snagged on another item. Most airlines do not offer meals and short flights sometimes do not offer snacks. The 1 oz. pack of peanuts is not going to keep hunger at bay. Furthermore, airport food is usually processed (ever read the ingredients?) and expensive.
3. Pack light. Pack outfits that you can mix and match. Check the weather ahead of time so you do not take clothes you will not wear. I always reach the 50 pound weight limit for checked baggage on international flights, so I know that packing light is easier said than done. I applied these two concepts on my last trip to Europe and ended up with a 35.5 pound suitcase. The weight is going to be even more important if you are driving, for less weight equals less fuel.
4. Participate in hotel linen programs. While I use sheets and towels for one week at home, I find that I can easily use several towels per day when staying in hotel. Now that hotels offer linen programs, I always opt in. Let the hotel know that it is not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.
5. Rent a fuel-efficient vehicle. If your personal vehicle is big and not very fuel-efficient, rent an economy car instead. Choose the smallest vehicle that will comfortable fit your family. Renting a fuel-efficient car will save you gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle.
I always incorporate these five easy tips when I travel, whether I take a flight to an international destination or a road trip out of state. There are many small changes and adjustments you can make to be eco-friendly while still enjoying the comfort and luxury that you crave on vacation. I challenge you to pick one or two of the eco-friendly travel tips and incorporate them on your next trip away from home.
>> How do you behave differently when you travel? What small changes can you make to reduce your impact on the environment?
I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!