Do you know how much carbon you’re emitting into your environment? It may be more than you think. Find out if you’re living a sustainable lifestyle by using a carbon footprint calculator like this one, at Terrapass.com. Now imagine how much more carbon is emitted when you travel further distances, or by airplane. Carbon emissions from our vacations, business trips, or just long commutes, all make pretty big contributions to environmental pollution. Reducing your carbon foot print is easier than you may think, though. To give you an idea of how much carbon traveling emits, writer Margaret Hyde puts it in relatable terms in her article about traveling green. She calculates that “one round trip plane flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco for one person emits 10,064 lbs. of carbon into the atmosphere. To put that number into perspective, that is ¼ the amount of carbon a mid-size sedan emits into the atmosphere in one year driving 8,000 miles per year.” Let’s be honest, we don’t have time to bike or walk everywhere. There’s no avoiding carbon emission. However, you can lessen your impact with little to no effort by making some educated, environmentally conscious choices. Here are some great tips for how to travel the eco-friendly way.
Offset your carbon emission.
There are a ton of free websites you can visit that calculate your carbon footprint, like the one mentioned above. Neutralize that amount by paying a few dollars to a certified green organization to offset the carbon. It saves the environment, and takes just a few minutes. These eco-friendly organizations will plant trees to balance out the impact. Visit Green Travel Resources page to find organizations for carbon offsetting.
Choose an environmentally conscious hotel when you travel.
How can you tell how sustainable an institution is? It takes a little work. Be careful not to buy into “green washed” companies that claim to “go green” but don’t have the environment’s best interests at heart. Pay attention to how the facility helps the environment. To make it even easier for consumers to be more environmentally conscious, there are websites that do the research for you! Eco Luxury, and Green Travel Resources are sites that list authentically sustainable hotels.
Make environmentally conscious choices while you travel.
Traveling green is more than just choosing walk or bike to get around. It’s about making educated choices while traveling. For example: Hotels have great amenities that are fun to take advantage of! But next time you leave your hotel room, remember to turn off the air conditioner or heating unit. You may not be paying for it, but your environment is. Be ecofriendly by just remembering to turn the lights off, even if you think the cleaning staff may be in soon. When you’re on a trip, support local businesses! It can be an fun way to experience new things, while being green. These simple suggestions can be your key to traveling green, and living a more sustainable lifestyle!