Green Travel – Planning your next holiday break and wanted to lower your carbon footprint, well here are some handy hints to help you. You can still have a great time, it’s just a matter of thinking of your impact on the planet when you travel and getting into the habit of thinking of ways to be greener when you travel and in your everyday life.
Of the various forms of transport air travel is the worst for polluting the earth and train travel is probably the best, consider where you are going and can you choose a green travel option. Road trips using a car or RV can be a reasonably green travel option depending on the vehicle you use. Bike travel holidays are also a great way to see the country but usually you have to first get to where you want to start your bike journey from and that is normally by air!!
There are many reputable companies offering carbon offset schemes, work out your milage you’ll be travelling and then logon to one of these companies online. Basically they work by either planting trees to offset the carbon you are putting into the atmosphere or by investing in renewable energy schemes in your country. It’s worth checking which companies offer the most efficient schemes, here are some links to the best carbon offset companies we have found.LINK by US, Europe, Australia, Asia.
Lastly remember the little things also count, recycle your waste as you go, if there is recycle bins where you are staying take the waste with you and drop off at the next recycle point. Most towns will have recycle facilities. Try to use less water, don’t put your towels out for washing unless they need it, turn lights off and air-conditioning when leaving your room for the day.
Have a great green travel trip and have fun!!
If you’re planning on hiring a rental car, search for some green travel options, many of the larger rental car companies offer hybrid car rental and now with the release of the Nissan LEAF and GM Volt, some may even offer electric car rental.
If it’s your own car you can do some basic checks:
-Get your car serviced so it is running more efficiently
-check your tire pressure, tires that are properly inflated have less road resistance therefore improving your fuel economy
-if possible try not to use roof racks, these lower the efficiency of your vehicle by creating drag, we drive a Prius and manage to fit 4 people and two surfboards inside the car!
If buying an RV to travel in make sure it’s the most efficient available and offers solar power, do you really need to the biggest available, the less your RV weighs the less fuel it will use and therefore save you money on your travels. You’ll also get better resale if it’s more efficient, especially as the price of gasoline rises due to Peak Oil. Currently in 2011 the most fuel efficient RV is the ……., which emits 999gms of CO2 per mile, compare this to a Toyota Prius which emils around 89grams per km.
Check the place you are planning on staying, do they offer any green features, such as solar hot water, solar power and water recycling? What sort of building materials have they used, does the accommodation have a energy rating? These are some of things to consider when booking. Are recycling facilities available?
Currently this is the worst form of carbon intensive travel, so think twice before getting on a plane. Maybe get back to basics and enjoy a road trip and holiday in your own country rather than jet-setting around the world. If you must travel then most airlines offers carbon offset when booking your flight, once again it’s probably best to check first to make sure they offer the best carbon offset scheme, check here. Richard Bransons airline Virgin Atlantic is currently testing biofuels and hopefully should offer this as a fuel option in the not too distant future. Of course biofuels are only good if they are using non-food based crops, otherwise they are just pushing up the price of food and taking food off the table.Some other things to consider when flying:-reduce your baggage weight, do you really need to carry so much, can you do without that extra set of clothes? Basically the less weigh on your flight improves the efficiency of the aircraft and therefore less carbon output.
As the price of oil rises with peak oil, this should encourage more efficient flying and air craft manufacturers will invest heavily in efficient aircraft design.
Sea Travel / Crusing
Travelling on a cruiseliner can be an efficient way to holiday, but do your homework, check with your cruise company to see what environmental features they offer. Do they dump waste water straight into the ocean rather than using special dump stations? Are the cruise company including solar panels in their new ships? There are some cruise companies that use huge sails to propel their ships, here is an example of greener cruising.
Travelling by train is ‘the’ best green way to get around, trains can run on renewable power and offer a very efficient form of transport. Also the more people travel by train the better the service will be, for example in Europe train networks are extensive because they are so heavily used. Train travel will become much more important as we start to feel the effects of peak oil, many airlines have starting imposing fuel surcharges to their flights to cover the rising cost of oil.
Another more efficient method of travel, but maybe not so comfortable as train travel. Good for shorter journeys upto a few hours.
If you have any green travel tips of your own, or any questions regarding travelling green please Contact Usorwould you like to add a green living article about some aspect of green living you are passionate about.