Traveling abroad often means abandoning your routine at home, as well it should. But the “what happens there, stays there” mentality shouldn't pertain to everything, especially when it comes to staying green. Being green at home can so easily become part of a daily routine that it shouldn’t be neglected when traveling abroad. These are some simple tips for making sure that your travels don’t effectively erase all the good green efforts you put in at home.
- The king of all obvious tips: turn off your lights, heat, and air conditioning when leaving on a trip. Do the same thing when leaving your hotel room each day.
- Most urban destinations around the world employ public transport that is tourist-friendly, so opt for that whenever you can. If you’re traveling for work with colleagues, rent one car to share amongst yourselves. Cities like Paris and Amsterdam have well established bike rental programs, as well. Taking advantage of these is an infinitely greener option than renting a car.
- Hotels around the world are becoming increasingly dedicated to getting LEED certification. If you have the option, staying in an LEED certified hotel room is always preferable. Green hotels aren’t limited to cities, either. Check out this list for green hotels in many destinations. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/scpgt)
- Renting an apartment abroad is becoming more and more popular as a budget-friendly way to travel. Not to mention, it makes you feel instantly more like a local. If you rent an apartment abroad, treat it the way you’d treat your own home – turning lights and appliances off, unplugging small appliances, recycling, and, if you plan to cook food there, buying organic and local produce.
- Recycling while traveling can be a challenge. If you can’t recycle at your hotel, try to seek out public recycling bins around the city you’re traveling in to toss your plastic bottles or trash while you’re walking around and exploring.
- Traveling with kids doesn’t have to make staying green more difficult. It can be even easier while traveling to get them outside and exploring, rather than watching TV. Bring them to the farmer’s market and encourage them to keep their plastic waste in hand until you can all find a recycle bin. Indulge your kids’ curiosity about nature and animals by planning an eco-friendly trip for the family. Instead of New York, book your next trip to Costa Rica, where the kids can participate in sea turtle conservation workshops and go on underwater discovery trips or take them to the Galapagos Islands where they’ll see a whole new world of animal species. (Photo courtest of Flickr/The Hamster Factor)
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