Going on vacation is for many people a necessary break to recharge the batteries after an intense work period. Maybe you go abroad, a trip to Europe, Asia or America or just a trip in your own country.
No matter where you go you are going to make an affect on environment. The reason for this is that different ways to travel will release different amounts of greenhouse gases. It can be difficult to travel eco-friendly in countries or cities that you don´t know so much about, but with some thought before and during your vacation you can minimize the affect your travelling will have on the environment. Travelling to another continent every five year can do less harm for the environment than flying shorter trips more often, like weekend trips a couple of times a year.
Being aware of the environment and the damages one can cause can mean that you think about ways to travel, not only what kind of vehicle to travel by, but so much more. You need to take into consideration where you live, where and what you eat and how you shop, it takes a lot of planning to be eco-friendly. Most important is that your eco-mind goes all year around, not just on vacation or just at home, but both. If you usually recycle and reuse things at home, you should continue doing this at your vacation as well. If you can´t find a recycling station at your hotel or resort you should ask the staff where you can leave your disposals.
Tips for an eco-friendly vacation
Take care of nearby hideaways and places. Have you seen the national park that is only a train trip away? It can give you just as much as to travel by bike in your hometown as it will to go to the other side of the world. Vacation by bike is very eco-friendly and you will also get exercise while experiencing new things in your near surroundings. If you want to leave your hometown you can check what possibilities, there are to go by bus or train. By going by train, you can also see things and places you can´t see while flying or driving. If you are going to fly a long way, try to go with an airline that travels with full airplanes. Pick a route where there are no or fewer stopovers since this will make less affect on the environment. On a long trip maybe, you can plan to stay longer and not go as often. When choosing your vacation home make an environmentally smart choice. On most hotels websites you can read about if they have some kind of certificate for environmental work or what they do for the environment. If or when you contact a travel agency it is good to ask these questions to make them aware that people care so that they can inform hotels and airlines, and that they take these kinds of hotels into their assortment. When it comes to this part you need to be harsh, you need to check that the company is eco-friendly and not just greenwashing to attract customers.
At the destination
Everybody has to eat and drink to survive. In your choice of food and drink it is good to think about where groceries come from. It is, as an American, unwise to drink a Budweiser when in Thailand when they make just as good beer locally. Travel by bus or bike if you can instead of taking a taxi or hiring your own car. Find out what rules you need to live by where you are. And finally, Enjoy your eco-friendly vacation!