“Happy (and green) trails to you” in your travels…

When we were planning for our recent vacation I knew there was a lot more to consider than just being green once we arrivedhighway-traff-2 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.hotel-room

  • 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!

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7 thoughts on ““Happy (and green) trails to you” in your travels…

  1. I recently returned from a “road trip” to Chicago. While flying would have gotten me there 10 hours quicker each way, I ended up spending less money, and much less emissions by driving. I did take the major highway, but I kept my foot at an even 65.
    My hotel stay was at an economy hotel, but they gladly recycled my plastic soda bottles (from the drive, mostly) just by asking.

    Next time, I’m trying the Amtrak!

  2. Robert – Bravo to you! Like you, we did the 11 hour drive vs. flying a family of four. The rule of thumb should be if it’s 6 hours and under… just drive, but we went to the extreme anyhow! And I always thought a trip on Amtrak might actually be fun… not so easy with all the beach gear, but maybe one of these days! 🙂

  3. The plane was going to Denver or Chicago, etc. anyway, with or without you, so by driving you added emissions whereas by flying there wouldn’t have been any addition. Your thinking is backwards! How can you possibly say driving produced less emissions? If you had been on the plane, then there would have been LESS emissions!

  4. gofer – I believe it’s a matter of changing our actions over the long-term. I don’t believe I should have put my family on the plane just because a plane may have been going there. I look at from the law of supply and demand. If fewer people fly on planes to shorter destinations, there will be less demand for these flights and therefore flight schedules will be reduced = less emissions. Nothing happens overnight.

  5. Stand proud Doreen…it is action’s like yours big or small, that will end up making a difference for our children’s futures! You ROCK…and your thinking is certainly not backwards….it’s what we Earth-loving greenies call FORWARD thinking!!! Woo Hoo for you and all others who share in this mission 😉

  6. I’m with you there on flying and driving. Everyone flying has become a bi product of our fast paced lifestyle. We will be going on a trip here soon from AZ to IN and are going by motor home. We have had the RV fully serviced, set the cruise and get to take our two large dogs with. We even get to see the country side and have our own “spare room” on wheels. Here’s to the same Eco-Friendly living on the road that we implement at home.

  7. smilinggreenmom- thanks for the support and I stand by what I said! 🙂

    Shari – cheers! I’m with you too! Hope your trip is wonderful!

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