10 Ways To Be Green While On Vacation

Taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life doesn’t have to mean taking a vacation from conserving Earth’s natural resources. There are a ton of ways to be eco-friendly during a holiday. Read on to see how you can be a green tourist on your next trip, and lend Mother Nature a helping hand.

Travel Tip Of The Day: Avoid Buying Plastic Water Bottles (When You Can)

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Recycle old containers and bottles

You’ll probably go through a lot of products that you brought from home, such as sunscreen, insect repellent and shampoo. But don’t get rid the bottles just yet! Why not try upcycling your waste containers? An old lotion bottle could be thoroughly cleaned out and used to hold your money & keys at the beach in an inconspicuous way — and no sticky-fingered thieves would ever think of looking there.

Ride a bike (Heather Harvey/Flickr)

Ride a bike (Heather Harvey/Flickr)

Reduce your carbon footprint

Try reducing your impact on the environment while on vacation by staying away from cars. Take a walk, rent a bicycle or use public transportation where you must. Not only will you get to experience the country differently, you’ll also get a work out and be eco-friendly along the way.

Travel in eco-friendly style (Aptera Motors/Wikimedia commons)

Travel in eco-friendly style (Aptera Motors/Wikimedia commons)

If you must rent a car, find a low-consumption one

When you simply must hire a car, try to go for the most fuel-efficient, low-emission model available. Don’t be afraid to ask the car dealer for a recommendation and match that up with your own research.

Don’t litter

You’d be surprised how much junk is generated every year by each person dropping that one little wrapper on the ground instead of finding a bin. Wherever you’ll be staying in vacation, make a point of properly disposing of your garbage and avoid littering at all costs.

Green hotel (Hoshino Resorts/Wikimedia Commons)

Green hotel (Hoshino Resorts/Wikimedia Commons)

Try to find green hotels or resorts

While looking for a place to stay, ask your travel agent to help you pick out the most eco-friendly option. The hotel industry is leaning more and more towards conserving resources because it is helpful for the environment and for the bottom line. If you can, make a few phone calls to prospective places and find out what they’re doing to help stay green.

Volunteer for a cleanup project while you’re there

If you’re interested in a vacation outside the norm, why not volunteer? A lot of places have cleanup drives organized by local residents or socially responsible corporations, so grab a pair of gloves and help out — they’ll be glad for the extra set of hands!

Bring your own water bottle to reduce waste

A common source of litter is plastic bottles used for water. Invest in a refillable water bottle to take with you, which will reduce the number of bottles that has to be produced and then thrown out. There are several cute and functional options available.

Biodegradable (Ras67/Wikimedia Commons)

Biodegradable (Ras67/Wikimedia Commons)

Try to use bio-degradable products

Biodegradability is not just limited to containers. A number of companies are churning out biodegradable products that have less of an impact on the environment while in use. Find bio-degradable sanitizing sprays and wipes, shampoos and sunscreen (especially if you’re going camping or swimming), do your small part for environmental conservation.

Shower running (Andrzej 22/Wikimedia Commons)

Shower running (Andrzej 22/Wikimedia Commons)

Conserve hotel resources

Be green while at your hotel as well: try turning off all the lights and air conditioning whenever you leave the room, and minimize the amount of water used during a shower. Small steps like these add up to a significant reduction of natural resources, which reduces environmental strain as well.

Take out containers (Badagnani/Wikimedia Commons)

Take out containers (Badagnani/Wikimedia Commons)

Try to avoid take-away meals

Your vacation is not just about what sites you visit: it’s in the experience. Eat at local restaurants and enjoy the ambiance instead of getting take-out food. Fast food is often packaged in difficult-to-dispose-of packaging such as styrofoam and plastic cartons, which pile up very quickly in landfills.


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