By Julia | May 24, 2011
|Vacations are often a challenge for those who wish to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. The following are some tips on how to stay green while you travel!|
Planet Earth Luggage: Looking for Eco Friendly Luggage? Check out Planet Earth Luggage inspired by the Discovery Channel series. This luggage is made with fabrics that are low toxic, low chemical polyester and nylon, recycled blended PET, sustainable cotton and bamboo. Don’t sacrifice variety and versatility for eco-friendly. Shop P.E. Luggage!
GreenSmart: Taking a laptop with you? Try GreenSmart’s laptop bags and sleeves. The neogreene sleeves are made Toxic-Free and consume 25% less energy to manufacture and 25% less petroleum to produce than neoprene. Each sleeve is lightweight, durable, waterproof, and hygienic. Their bottles 2 bags items are made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles. Sustainability means building products that last!
Make Love Not Trash: Whether you’re shopping at your destination or using an activity bag on the plane, Make Love Not Trash has a bag for you! Snazzy, nontoxic and eco-aware, this handbag and accessory company is focused on using natural and/or eco-aware materials and nontoxic printing techniques to provide long-lasting, high quality items.
EnvironmentallyFriendlyHotels.com: Find lodging all over the world that is committed to sustainable development. From bed and breakfasts, hotels, inns, lodges, motels and resorts, Environmentally Friendly Hotels has got the information. Search by country or state/province to find the eco-friendly details about your destination!
Lodging is assessed on a “green tree” scale for the more “yes” check marks in green attributes associated with the hotel or motel:
Destinations are also evaluated for greenness of amenities, architecture, alternative energy use, recycling program, organic food served, water conservation and other attributes. Maddens Resort in Brainerd, Minnesota, for example, has 4 trees based on a few attributes like these:
Green Hotels Association: “Green” Hotels are environmentally-friendly properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste—while saving money—to help protect our planet. This site informs consumers about Member Hotels that have joined the association as interested in environmental issues. States and some European locations are listed. Programs that are often used in these locastions are:
1. For over sixteen years “Green” Hotels Association® has been offering cards that ask guests to consider using their linens more than once.
2. The “GREEN” CATALOG: “Green” Hotels Association® researched environmentally-friendly energy and water-saving products, and chose the best of the choices for hotels.
|The Green Hotels member Briar Rose Bed & Breakfast in Boulder, Colorado, for example, encourages and promotes ecological consciousness in every aspect of providing hospitality to their guests.|
Green Transportation means choosing the best way to get to your destination that results in the lowest amount of CO2 emissions.
Plane: The average passenger plane emits 1 pound of carbon dioxide (CO2) per passenger mile.
Car: If you were to drive alone, the average SUV emits 1.6 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile and the average car emits 1.1 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile. However, a hybrid car, such as the Toyota Prius, will generally emit 0.6 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile.
Bus: The average bus, assuming it is 75 percent full, emits approximately 0.25 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile.
Trains: Trains are able to achieve slightly better results than buses at just over 0.2 pounds of CO2 per passenger mile.
Here’s a real world example if you were to take a vacation from Los Angeles to Seattle (and back), the following is the amount of CO2 that would be released into the atmosphere as a result of your trip:
- Airplane – 2,270 pounds
- SUV – 3,362 pounds
- Standard Car – 2,497 pounds
- Hybrid Car – 1,362 pounds
- Bus – 567.5 pounds
- Train – 454 pounds
Clearly, a train is the greenest way to travel long distance and a SUV is the worst. If a train will not get you to your destination, then a bus would be the next best option. And if you must fly or drive, remember you can offset your carbon footprint through purchase of a TeraPass.
In conclusion, a vacation may be a break from the routine in your life, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop being green while you’re away from home. A greener vacation now will help to ensure that you and future generations will be able to enjoy the beauty of the natural world!