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Doing your part to save the earth while on your next vacation:

Doing your part to save the earth while on your next vacation:

It’s no big secret that traveling can leave a pretty significant carbon footprint; there are just too many vacationers who prioritize their personal experience over the environment. In times like these, being an eco-advocate is one of the most important things you can do. Actively reducing, reusing, and recycling is just as important both in and out of the home. Although that begs the question: what can you really do when you’re on vacation? As it turns out, quite a bit.

For the Plane:

Before you purchase your tickets, be sure the airline you are working with has rigid eco-friendly standards. If you wanted to take it one step further, make sure the flight is non-stop to save the most fuel. In addition to all that, some websites even have a carbon offset calculator so you can figure out the impact you have made and can donate the difference to a carbon offset program.

For the Experience:

Obviously, booking with eco-friendly businesses is important to do. If you aren’t sure where to start looking, there are tons of online resources that list companies with green initiatives. All you need to do is find the right one for your type of lifestyle and what kind of vacation you would like. Whether you’re looking for a unique, relaxing eco-hotel, a tropical getaway cruise, or an incredible day safari, there’s a green experience for just about every vacation.

For the Community:

Supporting local businesses not only helps feed families and directly supports native culture, but it’s also more green than buying from large chains and corporations. If goods don’t need to be transported as long of a distance, then it means less fuel overall. Just be sure to buy something made from sustainable materials, and with a sustainable process. There’s nothing worse (for you and the world) than buying someone a gift only to have them throw it away weeks later.

For the Everyday:

There are a multitude of little things you can do on vacation that can add up to a big difference. Taking shorter showers and avoiding doing laundry while on vacation are great starts. You could also opt not to have your room and towels cleaned to save on water, energy, and waste. Eating meat isn’t exactly the most eco-friendly, so why not try something new and  go vegan for your vacation. Not only will you help the planet, but you’re also less likely to get sick from differing food standards between countries.

If you’re unable to be completely carbon-free, don’t worry. What matters most is a genuine, conscious effort to improve your traveling habits. As the clichė goes: every little bit counts! Most importantly, be sure to keep the conversation going. Tell people about how much fun you had, tell them what was difficult and what wasn’t, and tell them what you would do differently next time. Carbon neutrality seems like a lofty goal, but it’s not so much when we all work together as one, big eco-community.

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