Green Travel Tips

It’s estimated that there are close to a billion tourists traveling across the globe each year. That’s a heck of a lot of sightseeing! Unless we plan carefully, and think before we travel, we run the risk of allowing our travel plans to take a harsh toll on the planet’s natural resources. Of course, nobody’s saying that you have to stay home during vacations – instead, it’s important to consider the small steps you can take to make your holiday adventures more enjoyable for you and kinder to the environment.

We’ve assembled a few of our top tips for Eco-friendlier travel. No doubt you’ll have some of your own suggestions to add too – so please share your ideas and comments below.

Carbon off-setting

Many of the major, reputable travel operators now give you an option to automatically offset the carbon emissions associated with your journey. The costs of offsetting are linked to the intended length of your travel, but most regular flights will charge between $10 – $50 to offset your carbon. It’s a small price to pay to travel to reduce your conscience! And if you are traveling by plane, select a direct flight where possible, to avoid multiple carbon emissions. Of course not flying at all is better….

Change your mode of transport

Do you really need to take the plane? Can you take the bus? Or a train? Or even cycle? These are certainly more environmentally friendly modes of transport which will decrease your journey’s carbon footprint dramatically. If you’re going to drive, rent a hybrid car – they’re more fuel efficient and emit less pollutants into the atmosphere.

Travel light

We’ve all been guilty of packing everything but the kitchen sink for our travels abroad. Try to be more disciplined when you pack your case. After all, the less weight you’re carrying, the less fuel your intended mode of transport will need to use. One good example is to collaborate with your traveling companions on toiletries. Instead of everyone bringing shampoo or shower gel or toothpaste, decide amongst you who will bring what – you’ll be amazed at how this small step lightens your load.

Research hotels

These days, more and more global destinations are developing eco-hotels and lodges which have strong environmental credentials. It’s easy to drop most hotels an email to find out more about their recycling programs, including:
• Waste recycling
• Towels and bedding – is there an option to re-use?
• Hotel energy efficiency
• Local corporate responsibility initiatives

You’ll quickly get an idea of the hotels that take their environmental responsibilities seriously – and you can reward them with your business.

Contribute to the local economy

If you’re staying in a half-board or all-inclusive resort, sometimes there’s a temptation to stay in the hotel grounds for the duration of your trip. However, exploring the local area, and frequenting local shops, restaurants and arts and craft stores can provide vital support to local people and the local economy. Hopefully, you’ll also have a more authentic in-country experience – and some great stories to share with friends and family on your return home.

Small changes in your travel plans can make a big difference. So, if you’re suffering from the winter blues, and you’re starting to plan your summer vacation, why not put these ideas into action?

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Trying To Make Travelling More Eco-Friendly – With A Cartoon

I’m not sure about this one. Online holiday firm Travelocity has a Travel for Good programme and has released a series of cartoons for kids and adults alike called Eco-Bunnies.

Eco Bunnies

The series of animations teaches about carbon offsets and being earth-friendly, and the latest as I write this is called “Hare Dos and Don’ts” also features a naming contest for fans. It seems quite fun but I’m still left with a niggling feeling that something isn’t quite right about a travel firm teaching us about being environmentally friendly.

Ecobookers Celebrates Its 1st Birthday With A Redesign

Environmentally friendly travel site, Ecobookers, is one year old. Well it was at the start of September actually but I thought I’d take some time to look around the site as it’s been redesigned.

We first looked at Ecobookers back in November 2007 and liked what we saw. The new site is a bit easier to use and certainly more pleasing on the eye. Although I haven’t actually booked anything through it, I like the way all the accommodation is researched and the huge amount of information that’s given. Check out the review of the Lova Lava Land Eco-Resort in Hawaii for example.

Ecobookers

There are 130 eco-friendly accommodations in 38 countries around the world on the site, ranging from eco-friendly hotels, B&Bs and ecolodges to more unusual eco-friendly accommodation, such as yurts and treehouses. So check it out here.

Phrasebooks On Your iPod

Rather than shelling out to buy a paper phrasebook for your next foreign vacation, why not download one to your iPod instead?

Intelligent Travel reports that Collins have now released their popular phrasebooks in iPod versions. “They’ve taken the phrasebooks from the back of their Collins Gem dictionaries (about 500 different phrases) in French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish. The phrasebooks are split up into sections (food, accomodation, emergencies, etc.), and iPod users can both listen to how the phrase is pronounced and see its spelling on the screen.”

Each book is a bargain at $10 / £4.99 however they’re only compatible with iPod originals and Nanos and not those fancy Touch or iPhones.

iPods