Traveling during the holiday season can be stressful to you and to the environment. A family-of-four vacation can result in more carbon emissions than an entire year of the family’s commute to and from work! But smart vacation choices can reduce carbon dioxide emissions considerably. Follow these easy steps to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling!
- Before leaving for vacation, turn down your thermostat and water heater, so that you don’t waste energy by generating unneeded heat. Also, purchase timers for your indoor and outdoor lights, so that your Christmas lights don’t stay on all night.
- When traveling to your holiday destination, buses are the greenest travel option available, and they can also be cheaper than flying or driving. Compared with flying coach, a couple traveling on a bus can cut their trip’s carbon dioxide emissions 55 to 75 percent!
- Traveling by train is another great green option. Trains emit 60 percent less carbon per passenger-mile than a typical car with a single occupant! In addition, trains emit roughly 30 percent less carbon than a 500-mile trip on a small jet plane. Consider buying bus or train tickets when traveling on very long trips instead of plane tickets.
- If you must travel by plane, make sure to book non-stop flights whenever possible. The largest percentage of a plane’s carbon emissions can be attributed to takeoff and landing. You can also buy carbon offsets when purchasing your plane ticket.
- A typical 100-room hotel uses 5.6 million gallons of water and 120 tons of trash a year and produces 3.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions through energy usage. Book a reservation at green-certified lodging to help lessen your impact on the environment.
- If staying in a hotel during your vacation, request that housekeeping not wash your bedding and linens daily. This practice conserves water resources and avoids wasting energy on unnecessary washing. If your hotel does not promote water and energy conservation practices, use a comment card to ask them to adopt it!
- When you leave your hotel room or home, continue practicing basic energy conservation by switching off the air conditioning, lights, and TV.
- While on your trip, remember to reduce consumptive waste by taking only the amount of products that you need from restaurants or lodgings. Only take complimentary items that you will actually use.
By: Ali Minarcik