Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vacationing Doesn't Have to Mean Abandoning Your Eco-Conscience

I am on vacation for the next few days, and will be blogging about my experiences trying to have an eco-counscous trip.

The following is a list of…things I've noticed:

Location: Many people dream of vacationing in a far off land where they can be physically, and thus completely mentally, separated from the stress of everyday life. However, it's surprising what you can find in your own backyard, that doesn't require [as much] carbon emitting transportation.

Renting a Car: When renting a car it's usually pretty easy to ask for a hybrid or fuel efficient car.

Water: Bring a light-weight, spill proof, reusable water bottle to refill. Unfortunately, my trusty Camelbak leaked all over my bag this after noon, and I was forced to accept a plastic bottle of water :( I will refill this bottle until I am able to get another truly reusable one (however reusing plastic water bottles can actually leach chemicals into your water, so I don't want to do this for long!).

Hotel Choice: Most big hotels are now using eco-responsbility as a CSR campaign, but don't actually market it all that much. Try asking a hotel manager about their initiatives. A friend once told me that every time she went to Starbucks she asked if they had a recycling bin. After a few months, one showed up! If they know there's a demand, they're far more likely to implement sustainability initiatives.

Shopping: Make sure you're not going to throw out that "absolutely adorable"just got-to-have-it-that-very-moment souvenir the moment you get home. And bringing a reusable bag or tote around with you on days you know you might do some shopping can save plastic bags.

Food: Why travel all that way to buy food that was actually made in a completely foreign land. Try eating local food to get a real taste of the culture.

Dining: All right, this is a just an observation, but what is the point of those little paper strips that hold your napkin around your fork an knife?? Seems like a waste to me!

You can also check out one of Annie Leonard's latest blog post on styrofoam in a hotel she recently stayed at.

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