Stay Green on Your Summer Vacation
Making sustainable-living choices at home is often a matter of habit. You know where your single-stream recycle bin is, and you understand what goes into it. You know how and what to compost and have your supply of reusable tools at your ready.
But what happens when we travel on summer vacations, break from our daily routines and end up in places that aren’t as eco-conscious as home?
Here are some tips to help you leave a smaller carbon footprint on your annual getaway.
Plan ahead: Know what eco-friendly resources are available where you’re going. Find out which hotels in the area where you’re staying recycle, and patronize them.
Shut it down: Make sure all your energy consuming devices at home are securely off before you leave on your trip. Most AC charger units — the kind that plug into walls to charge phones or tools — draw energy unless they are completely unplugged from the wall, whether they are charging a device or not.
Make certain energy suckers like video game consoles are shut down, too. And check to secure the thermostat and make sure water faucets in your home are completely off.
Pack wisely: If you’re traveling by car, keep your load as light as possible. Studies have shown a typical car’s fuel efficiency decreases by 1 to 2 percent with each extra 100 pounds in the trunk.
BYOB: Bring your own reusable bottle. Marti Matsch, communications director at Eco-Cycle, has a list of items she brings whenever she travels.
“That includes a reusable water bottle, a reusable coffee mug — I’ll use that on the plane or wherever I’m going to make sure that I’m not getting a container that they then throw away — and I always bring a reusable shopping bag with me,” Matsch says.
Bringing your own reusable drinking containers saves money and resources. Same goes for reusable shopping bags.
Choose economy: If you’re renting a car on your trip, go for — and stay with — the most fuel-efficient model.
“A lot of companies have a hybrid car available,” Matsch notes.
When your rental company offers to bump you up a class to a car with less fuel efficiency, consider declining the upgrade.
Bring your advocacy: Matsch suggests simple and polite action whenever you travel.
“I bring my advocacy with me,” Matsch says. “As I’m on the plane and they’re offering me an aluminum can, before I take it, I ask if they recycle their aluminum.”
If she happens to encounter an establishment that doesn’t recycle, she speaks up.
“Without getting too obnoxious about it, I just express my disappointment that they are not recycling,” she says. “When there are options for giving feedback to hotels or airlines or whatever service, I give them feedback that I’d love to see them recycling.
“The customer has the power, so I use it.”
Adapted from dailycamera.com. Original post by Mark Collins.