We love to travel and you probably do, too, or otherwise why would you be here? It broadens the mind, breaks down prejudices and bigotry, and promotes learning about other cultures. Besides, it's a lot of fun.
It does take a bit of mechanical energy and carbon releasing to get to our destinations, however, so it's a good idea to incorporate some environmentally friendly habits to help mitigate that along the way.
Fly direct when possible - Take offs are the biggest fuel burners in airplanes. With today's airline schedules, it's harder to secure that nonstop flight but take one if you can. It's also a lot easier on you if you don't have to change planes, especially if you're a wheelchair traveler.
Travel close to home - Great treasures lie within 500 miles of just about everybody. Take some time to enjoy them and burn less fuel than you would on that overseas journey. Plus, when you take your car, you don't have to pack quite as light as you do on a plane...and you don't have to go through the TSA grope to get in the passenger seat.
Recycle those towels - Hang up your shower towel to dry after your shower if it's not too grungy. A lot of hotels these days will only change what you leave on the floor. Save some water and energy.
Live in a destination - Instead of seeing 8 European capitals in 7 days, try living in the South of France for a week or rent an apartment in New York...become a temporary resident. It's what we try to do and makes for our best vacations when we get to know the neighbors and the city.
Go off the beaten track - We've all seen those destinations called paradise that end up being miles of endless hotel towers. Find a nice place where the tourists aren't flocking too and don't contribute to the 'let's build another hotel' mentality.
Use public transportation - Much friendlier on the environment that renting a car or taking a taxi. Plus, you get the added benefit of seeing the locals behaving like locals do and will save a lot of money.
Walk - Many cities and towns are more inviting when you see them on foot.
Eat fewer meals - In addition to helping to eliminate indigestion, it keeps you more energetic and helps your stamina for all that siteseeing you're doing. We eat one good meal in the morning and a nice dinner while skipping lunch. It saves us money, keeps us going, gives us more time, and we don't miss that midday meal at all.
Eat local - Eat the local cuisine when you can. Skip the imported food, made to give you the same option you can get at home, and try what the local farmers make. It's different and delicious.
Turn off your A/C and electronics - Why cool an empty house? Turn off and unplug things like TVs and chargers but leave a radio and some lights on to make the house look like it's inhabited (no need to give up security to be a little more green).
Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
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