Consider Alternatives to Flying Tools such as online carbon calculators can help you determine which transportation method is the most carbon-friendly for your particular trip. For example, a seven hour drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco uses significantly less carbon than the two hour-long roundtrip flights between the cities. Take Longer Vacations -- And Give Back While You’re Away Rather than taking several short trips over the course of a year, a more sustainable option is to take a few longer (and more purposeful) vacations. Since flights emit such a large amount of carbon, it is important to make up for it by giving back to the community that you are visiting. Some easy projects could involve spending half an hour removing litter from the beach or volunteering to remove non-native species from the area. Choose Your Hotel Carefully Collectively, hotels are responsible for over 60 million tons of carbon emissions per year due to the amount of energy that it takes to run these enormous buildings. Certain hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental have ambitious plans to reduce their carbon footprints in the next few years. When choosing a hotel, look carefully to find one with a LEED-certified building or clear sustainability initiatives. Have Suggestions? Reach Out! It is important to make your appreciation for a brand’s sustainability initiatives clear -- as well as your suggestions for how they could improve. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the marketing team of a hotel brand or airline company to congratulate them for the work that they have done for the environment -- as well as to suggest some additional steps they could take in the future. You never know, your ideas could spark some serious changes!Read more
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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
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
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