Tips for a lower-impact winter vacation

At this time of year, many of us are planning breaks to warmer climates or mid-winter getaways.  If you’re traveling, here are a few ideas for lessening the impact of your holiday:

  1. Choose a Green hotel: look for certifications like Green Key or Green Leaf ratings (the more keys or leaves, the better); or other certifications like Green Globe, Audubon or National Geographic.  (Unfortunately, no global standard has yet emerged.)  And of course, participate in your hotel’s recycling / towel / linen / water reduction programs
  2. Travel light: air travel has a huge carbon footprint and more weight means more jet fuel burned and more emissions.  Consider buying sun block and toiletries at your destination, and why not use the hotel laundry so you can travel with fewer clothes?
  3. Where possible, use public transportation to get around – or rent the most fuel efficient vehicle available.
  4. Before you leave home, unplug electronics that use phantom power; lower your thermostat; and turn off your water heater.

More tips from the US EPA here.  Enjoy your Green holiday!