Friday, September 20, 2013

Traveling Light - Easy ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Embracing a green lifestyle is not always obvious; take traveling, for example. How does an eco-conscious citizen of the world who enjoys traveling balance both passions? With that conundrum in mind, let us consider some of the ways that we can travel green.

The first thing to recognize is that you can make a difference before you even depart. Non-stop flights, for instance, can make a big difference in overall carbon footprint. All it requires of you is that you schedule further in advance, spend a little more money on the ticket or spend a little more time looking for the perfect flight. For your benefit you won't have to worry about getting from terminal to terminal in between flights or deal with having a long layover. For the environments benefit, this will help lower the amount of carbon emissions released in the air. A large percentage of a flights carbon emissions takes place during takeoff and landing.

During your travel, opt for the most eco-friendly modes of transport. If mass transportation is available, then use that, and if you have to rent, pay the premium for a hybrid or the most fuel-efficient car available. Reducing amount of gas you purchase will help save the environment as well as your wallet.

Wherever you stay, support that local community by eating and shopping locally. Opt for restaurants and markets that use locally sourced food items, and avoid doing business with establishments that ship their products in from out of town.

Another way that you can make a difference is by choosing green destinations. A great example of a green destination is Upstate New York. Sure, it might not be the traditional idea of a vacation spot, but it has numerous natural attractions, pristine lakes, vineyards, wine tours and the largest green shopping mall in the entire world, Destiny USA. Destiny is also the world’s largest LEED-certified shopping mall, and it’s in close proximity to a wide range of entertainment, dining and scenic options.

If you prefer something more worldly and tropical, then Costa Rica is a fantastic option; in fact, Costa Rica is one of the top green travel destinations in the world because it has one of the largest densities of environmentally-friendly entertainment options, restaurants and hotels. Another advantage of Costa Rica is that tourism is largely based around cultural experiences and natural landmarks, including a volcano. They’re also plenty of classic vacation haunts, including beaches and green nightclubs.

These ideas are really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Being green while you travel is possible; it just requires a little outside-the-box thinking. Don’t forget to talk to you fellow travelers who are likely to have green ideas that you haven’t considered yet.

Authored by Cliff Barre, blogger Peace, Love and Travel

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