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Posted by on Nov 18, 2014

Tread-Light Travel Tips

Tread-Light Travel Tips

 
As our knowledge of delicate ecosystems expands and we become more aware of the damage many of our actions can have on the environment, more and more people are choosing to incorporate sustainable practices into their everyday lifestyles. Because it is so easy to point to the hazards that transportation poses through toxic emissions, high energy consumption, and land destruction, many view travel as a wholly non-green activity. Additionally, it is often difficult to reconcile our desire for luxury with the responsibility to reduce consumption.

But the truth is, there are many ways we can choose more earth-healthy options when traveling. Perhaps the two most important travel considerations we can make are to reduce emissions produced by our mode of transportation and to reserve eco-friendly accommodations. Below are suggestions for how to accomplish this.

Book nonstop flights. A great deal of fuel is used during a plane’s takeoff, so nonstop flying results in fewer carbon emissions. Though this often costs a bit more upfront, the cost to future generations is diminished when we take care to lessen our carbon footprint today.

Decline the upgrade. It seems that more often than not, when we reserve an economy or compact car, we are offered a free upgrade at the rental counter. Decline the upgrade to a less gas-efficient vehicle and save on emissions.

Go electric.
We know it’s not always feasible to travel with an electric car that must be recharged after only a few hours, but when this can be managed, electric cars are much better for the environment. This is because there are far more stringent emissions regulations on energy plants than there are on car manufacturers. In other words, when we buy electricity to fuel our cars, it’s coming from a cleaner source than our cars would be for the same amount of energy.

Try public transportation. Public transportation is not only well-developed in most major cities, it’s also usually more convenient (and much cheaper!) than finding public parking. While you may be taking a roundabout route from point A to point B, consider this extra time a chance to see more of the city you traveled all the way to enjoy.

Now we know how to get there, but—where are we going? Ecofriendly lodging is a growing part of the hospitality industry. Read on for suggestions.

If you love mountain and lake views, hiking, and rejuvenating stays with highly customized service, visit the beautiful Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa in Torres del Paine, Chile. Not only will you be staying in luxurious, eco-friendly lodging, you cannot help but be impressed by beauty of one of the most beautiful regions on Earth.

 

For lovers of the tropics, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa offers peaceful seclusion and beautiful views while incorporating energy, water, and waste management practices that ensure your carbon footprint is minimized and that the precious coral reef surrounding it remains protected.

 

Resorts like Laguna Lodge on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala derive their energy from renewable sources, use that energy and their water efficiently, and are actively involved in community betterment programs. They also buy locally sourced food and products for the eco-lodge whenever possible.

 

As you can see, it’s possible to make earth-friendly choices without sacrificing luxury or adventure. A little planning with these tips in mind will help preserve a world our grandchildren will be just as excited to experience.

Leigh Redmond

Leigh Redmond

Leigh Redmond recently moved to Chicago after earning her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Tennessee. She is currently writing a collection of humorous essays and preparing the launch of Inkblotted.com, which features the photography and mixed media works of local artists as well as her own. Her hobbies include dancing Brazilian Zouk and traveling with friends.​

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