ECO TRAVELIN’ MAMA
By: McKenzie Satterthwaite
You’ve made all of the “green” changes you can at home but what about when you’re traveling? Here are some things to think about as you leave your own backyard and explore the world.
If you’re flying, choose an environmentally conscious airline.
Many airline companies are aware of the carbon footprint air travel makes and are taking steps to offset this footprint by being a part of an environmental sustainability program. You can also purchase offset points for each member of your family when you travel.
It’s easier, it’s cheaper due to baggage charges and you use less carbon due to less weight being brought on the plane or jammed in the back of your car.
Stay in eco-hotels
If you’re staying at a hotel, choose one that makes environmental consciousness part of its business. Low flow toilets, water saving faucets, eco sourced linens and in-room recycling bins have become the norm in hotels committed to environmental change.
Don’t be a towel hog!
Do you really need 3 fresh towels every day? Ask your kids to hang up their towels so they can be re-used. If you don’t use a new towel and new sheets everyday at home, think about continuing the same practice when you travel.
Don’t raid the service cart!
We all love the little soaps and lotions we find in our hotel rooms. They’re a travelers treat! They’re cute and you get to try new products out. If you’re really being an environmental stickler though, you’ll think of the waste the small plastic containers produce. Having your own set that you can refill is the most environmentally concious. And for Pete’s sake, don’t raid the service cart!
Get out and move!
Walk, ride bikes, and take the mass transit instead of driving. We don’t always do this but when we do, we find we get a much deeper feel for the places we visit.
Bring a re-usable water bottle.
Bring a re-useable shopping bag.
Check out the local farmers markets.
We eat our way through farmer’s markets for breakfast or lunch and grab a few healthy snacks for later too.
Eat at restaurants that sources foods locally.
Purchase souvenirs and gifts from local crafts people.
Think about the footprint you and your family leave behind.
Our family rule: LEAVE PLACES NICER THAN THEY WERE WHEN WE ARRIVED. The easiest way to make sure this happens is to pick up garbage along the way. Especially in parks and at beaches. When there are donations boxes, make one if you can. If you realize there is a leaky faucet in your hotel room, let the management know so it can be fixed.