Five Tips for the Traveling Environmentalist

Traveling green is not always easy, but it’s certainly worth the effort. These five tips will not only help you make a positive and lasting impact on the environment when you travel, but also help you save money and enjoy more authentic experiences along the way.

  1. Select “ethical” travel destinations.

A number of online resources rate destinations according to their environmental protection standards, social welfare and human rights records. Take advantage of these websites to do your due diligence when making travel plans.

  1. Choose LEED-certified hotels.

LEED-certified hotels use environmentally-friendly building and cleaning products, and offer their guests options to help make a positive environmental impact during their stay (such as re-using towels and not having sheets changed every day). When booking travel accommodations, consider prioritizing hotels that have achieved this designation.

  1. Invest in a quality refillable water bottle.

When safe to do so, refilling a water bottle throughout your trip will both save you money and help save the environment, as water bottles can take years to break down. Landfills are already overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles, as the Water Project has reported.1

  1. Eat locally-sourced food when you travel.

When you eat locally-grown food, you support local farmers and get an authentic taste of the area. Keep an eye out for restaurants that offer locally-grown food, and at some destinations, be aware of any endangered species that may be on the menu!

  1. Bike or walk when you can.

When you bike or walk while traveling, you may cut your environmental impact in half. Even if the attraction is a little farther than you’d normally bike or walk to, getting there that way gives you a chance to enjoy the scenery en route. Bring some extra cash for public transportation in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

For more helpful tips on how to go green when you travel, check out this great article from Lonely Planet.


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