While initiatives to reduce carbon emissions are rising in popularity among hotels, airlines, and cruise lines, there are a number of ways that we as travelers can lessen our carbon footprint. It may seem daunting to make “green” lifestyle changes while on vacation, but here are 4 easy ways to cut down on waste without detracting from your trip. Plant Trees When You Fly As flying is the activity that releases the most carbon when traveling, it is important to be conscious of the effect our flights have on the environment. This isn’t to say that we should pass on flights entirely, but instead be aware of the ways we can give back to the environment through the purchase of carbon offsets. One way to do this is to pay to plant trees for each flight you take -- each tree planted absorbs about 10 times the carbon released during your flight and only costs about $1 to plant. Create a Waste-Free Travel Kit Rather than clutter your travel bag with single-use plastic supplies, invest in some durable and reusable items. For food, consider buying reusable mesh bags for groceries, stainless steel containers for snacks, and reusable utensils for eating on the road. In addition to staples such as reusable water bottles, consider eco-friendly alternatives for your toiletry kit. Fill reusable containers with shampoo, sunscreen, etc. Too, consider investing in eco-friendly alternatives to your current staples, such as biodegradable dental floss or toothpaste tablets that require no plastic tube. Consider the Length of Your Trip Because planes use most of their fuel during take-off and landing (and even more fuel is used on long flights carrying a heavy tank of jet fuel), both short flights and really long flights end up being the least fuel-efficient. The ideal length of a flight is in the four- to five-hour range. Never Check A Bag The heavier the plane, the more carbon emissions will be released into the atmosphere (more specifically, for every additional 6.5 pounds of luggage 20 pounds of carbon dioxide will be emitted). By following a strict “carry-on only” policy, you will not only save yourself some cash in baggage fees but you will also do your part in reducing environmental waste.Read more
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As the heat wave in Europe continues we’ve been reading about how the Europeans are coping. In Paris, some are cruising on the Basin de la Villette (the largest artificial lake in the city) where you can rent a boat by the hour for up to six hours from 930am-10pm. The boats come in three sizes, for 5, 7 or 11 passengers and are equipped with an awning for shade. You can bring your own beverages and snacks or order a picnic in advance from the boat company. Prices range from EUR40 for one hour with 5 people up to EUR300 for a full day with 11 people.Read more
Climate change is clearly taking its toll as currently evidenced by the heat wave in Europe. But while our “fearless leader” has chosen to ignore situation, it’s heartening to know that some are taking action. Lindblad Expeditions recently announced that it will become a carbon neutral company by the end of the year. The cruise ship company intends to offset 100% of greenhouse gas emissions made by their ships, all land-based travel operations, employee travel, and their offices in New York and Seattle with carbon emissions. This project is one of Lindblad’s six carbon project investments that align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals focusing on harnessing renewable energy, reforestation, and other sustainability projects.Read more
And we thought the Big Dig was badly delayed. Travelwire recently reported that after 130 years of construction, Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia has FINALLY received the city permit needed to legally continue construction. However, the permit comes at a hefty price. The Construction Board of La Sagrada Familia Foundation now owes $5.2 million for the permit itself and an additional $40 million to cover the 134 years of infrastructure works. While the estimated total cost of construction is well over $400 million, the church is one of the city’s main attractions so construction will probably continue – with or without a permit.Read more
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