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Green on the Go: Spring Break Edition

Explorer C

The words “sustainable traveler” or “ecotourism” is often unappealing or confusing to people. When planning your Spring Break vacation the goal is often relaxation or fun, not additional responsibilities. The truth is, when traveling green, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort at all. You can easily have that adventurous trip bustling around New York City, or that relaxing beach stay in Florida, and still be eco-friendly. There are simple steps to take that aren’t burdensome, but can be a good way to thank the environment you are visiting. Be green before you board: Prior to arriving at your destination, you can prepare by applying these sustainable suggestions to your packing routine:
  • Upcycle plastic shower caps
    • Place them over your shoes before putting them into your suitcase. This keeps the rest of your clothes/items from getting dirty with the debris and chemicals that get on the bottoms of shoes (hotels give free shower caps).
  • Pack re-usable water bottles
    • This is a way to refill/hydrate with no waste, and save some cash.
  • Save those silica gel packets
    • Almost every time you buy an item that comes packaged it includes a silica packet (you know, the little thing that seems purposeless, and all you know is not to consume it).Well they are quite useful in absorbing moisture and protecting items from rust. Put them in places like your camera bag to preserve your equipment.
  • Bring your own toiletries
    • If you don’t use the hotel’s pre-packaged toiletries, take them home and use them or donate them to a local shelter.
  • Pack breakable souvenirs/items in recyclable newspaper
Green on the Go: Now that you’re already taking steps to be green through sustainable packing, you can use a couple more tips on traveling green:
  • Keep your showers short
    • Also, shut off the water while you're brushing your teeth.
  • When you leave the room, turn off everything
    • Air conditioning/ heat, television, lights, etc.
  • Reuse your sheets and towels
    • Leave a note for housekeeping to leave your towels/sheets--it takes a lot of energy to wash so many so often.
  • Know your hotel's recycling program
    • If your hotel doesn't recycle, take your recyclable items with you, and recycle them elsewhere.
  • Return maps and tourist brochures at the end of your trip
Traveling is more enjoyable when you know you are respecting the environment. Happy green traveling!