Money isn't the only cost of a vacation - every trip we take has an environmental price as well. The impact of travel goes beyond the greenhouse gases emitted by planes and cars. The amount of water you use, waste you produce, and purchases you make can all have negative effects on the planet.
Taking an eco-vacation and becoming more environmentally aware is about lessening your carbon footprint during your time off. Tips for travel include:
Take a home-based vacation and exploring close but unknown areas of interest like your local zoo or national park
When traveling outside your own town, look to close by attractions within 100-150 miles and even consider renting a hybrid car for the trip
Finally, minimize your waste whenever possible and bring home things that matter, like pictures, instead of impersonal souvenirs that were probably imported.
Remember when choosing your mode of transportation that planes emit the most carbon dioxide per traveler by far, and then cars, then trains, and then buses, depending on the number of travelers. Check out the Union of Concerned Scientists' green travel planner to plan your trip accordingly. And of course, just because you're on vacation doesn't mean you should abandon the 3Rs. Whether you're in the office or on a sunny beach, "reduce, reuse, recycle" should be your mantra.
Did you know that the average American's domestic vacation costs $1000 and the average international vacation more
That's a lot of money, and AAA Magazine goes even further by advising people to plan on $100 per day per person for a
vacation. An eco-vacation however can save you a lot of money, especially if you decide to stay closer to home. By exploring
near by attractions you can save money on transportation and accommodations. Also, the money you do spend will go towards
Did you know that large hotels can generate as much as 8 tons of waste per day?
Hotels use an extraordinarily large amount of resources, which translates to a large amount of garbage. Up to 60% of waste
generated is recyclable, but most of it is just thrown away. By choosing to stay at a "green hotel" on your vacation, you can
support eco-friendly waste management and recycling projects.
Did you know that while flying from New York's JFK airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico, over 626 lbs of CO2 are emitted
To put this in perspective, certain trains are about 90% cleaner, meaning this same trip by train would only emit 62.6 lbs
of CO2 (of course a train to Puerto Rico isn't possible, but you get the idea).