If you’ve led your family to live a greener lifestyle over the past year, it’s appropriate that you give your holidays a green makeover, too.
People are becoming more environmentally conscious, so it’s no wonder that eco-friendly family vacations are growing in popularity.
Eco-friendly vacations are affordable and cater to a wide range of tastes. By adjusting your schedule, making a few important choices and thinking in terms of an environmentally friendly perspective, you can have a vacation that makes less of an impression on Mother Earth. Here are 7 quick tips for an eco-friendly vacation:
1. Unplug. Green travel starts before you leave home. Your home uses a lot of energy even when you’re not there because of appliances that are left plugged in. Before you leave on your trip, make sure to unplug any non-essential appliances such as your TV, computer, and even your washer and dryer.
2. Configure the oven or air conditioner. Turn off the heating and cooling system, if applicable. If you live in an area where your pipes freeze, or if you have pets who need climate control while you’re away, make sure you know how to program the air conditioner and heater so they don’t run continuously while you’re away. Set some of your lights on a timer for security purposes. You will save money and energy as well.
3. Fly straight. If you are traveling to your vacation destination, try to find a direct flight from your home airport to your destination. Airplanes consume a lot of fuel when they land and take off. By flying directly, you will save fuel that is distributed in the air. You also vote with your money and encourage the airline to make more direct flights.
4. Purchase carbon offset credits. You can also choose Off-set Carbon Credits to offset the fuel used on your trip. Ask your airline if they offer a carbon offset program. If not, you can always buy credits from a separate company. The company will use the money to finance renewable energy products or plant trees.
5. Consider all of your travel options. Consider taking the train instead of the plane. Riding a train can be a fun experience for the whole family. Not only will you use less fuel, but it will be a ride your kids will remember for years to come.
6. Rent a hybrid car. When you arrive at your destination, rent a hybrid car to take you from one place to another or take public transportation.
7. Stay in eco-friendly hotels. When looking for a place to stay, ask about the hotel’s environmentally friendly policies. Many major chains practice recycling, using non-toxic cleaning products or replacing standard light bulbs with energy-efficient ones. By asking, you are letting the hotel industry know that you care about these issues. You can find independent eco-friendly hotels by searching online. The Green Hotel Association has a list of eco-friendly vacation destinations.
Eco-friendly vacations are easily within your reach if you do some simple research. You don’t have to visit the middle of the rainforest to be eco-friendly. You can have an eco-friendly vacation once you make better choices for your travel options.