When we were planning for our recent vacation I knew there was a lot more to consider than just being green once we arrived at our destination. Obviously we had to get “from here to there” first.
Our greenest travel options would have been to travel by train or rent a hybrid, but definitely not by plane, since the emissions from airplanes are astronomical and have a tremendous effect on global warming! In fact, a one-way flight from New York to Denver produces as much carbon dioxide per passenger as an SUV produces in a month! But since we were driving our own car, we had it maintenanced before our trip (including proper inflation of the tires) and used the cruise to assure maximum fuel efficiency.
While we planned our driving route, we not only considered the trip that was the shortest, but also with the least likelihood of “stop and go” traffic because this only burns huge amounts of fuel (much more than steady driving for a longer distance) and again creates more emissions. (We mistakenly challenged this thinking on our way home and paid the price in both time and fuel consumption!)
On our way to vacation, we also needed to spend one overnight in a hotel during our travels. It’s not always easy to locate and select a green hotel when you’re in a remote area of the country, but there are ways to make your stay a little greener.
- Although it was only an overnighter, had we stayed longer we would have chosen to keep and reuse our towels and sheets more than once. More and more hotels are offering this option and it certainly saves the energy required to do the washing.
- Also, use your same “at home” rules about turning off lights and TVs, reasonable AC temperatures and the length of your showers. Being away from home shouldn’t be a license to overuse.
- And if you find yourself with recyclables but the hotel doesn’t recycle, take them with you and be sure to find a place where they can be recycled instead of having them become trash.
No matter where you go, how you go or where you stay along the way, choose to “follow the greener brick road” to your destination!