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!
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As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are all looking for ways to share the LUV. With these Green gifting tips you can express your love for both the Valentine in your life and the environment.
Don’t cut! - A nice alternative to fresh cut flowers…plant a tree in your sweetheart’s honor- plant it yourself, plant one together, or donate a tree that Arbor Day will plant for you - then watch the love grow! http://shop.arborday.org/content.aspx?page=Commemorative
Sweet tooth – we aren’t saying no to chocolates, instead green it up with local, organic, fair trade chocolates. It’s a nice healthy choice for our bodies and our earth.
Make memories - Instead of buying a simple object as a Valentine’s Day present, give the gift of an experience you both can enjoy. Take a class together, such as cooking or dancing.
Get potted - Buy an organic potted plant from a local market and enjoy a gift that keeps on giving. Not only will a potted plant outlast cut flowers, most house plants are known to purify the air, produce oxygen from CO2, and reduce humidity in your home.
Considerate Cards - Our earth gets hit hard on February 15th every year from the amount of Valentines cards being thrown away- get creative with handmade cards, use an e-card, or buy them from a local artist (who preferably uses recyclable materials).
Everyone wins - If they’re hinting at those more expensive items, you don’t want to disappoint. There are plenty of companies out there who make items, such as jewelry or candles, with organic materials.
That’s a wrap! - Now that you have all of your green gifts for that special someone, give it that final touch with some green wrapping. You can wrap it with newspaper or even gently used t-shirts or scarves.
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