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Green Travel Tips (THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL)

What does “Green Travel” mean? How do you do it? Do you have to sleep in a tent and cook on a solar-powered camp stove to be considered eco-friendly?

The truth is that sustainable travel (a.k.a. ecotourism) is all about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. “Green” became synonymous with “eco-friendly” or “environmentally conscious.” So green travel came into vogue as a broad term used to encompass ecotourism and responsible travel practices, which generally strive to benefit the environment and the local people’s social and economic well-being. When done well, green travel is the antithesis of mass tourism. It’s all about trying to make smarter choices that help to mitigate the negative impacts we create when we travel

GREEN TRANSPORTATION TIPS

1. Try to book non-stop flights whenever you can: It’s the takeoffs and landings that create most of an airplane’s carbon emissions.
2. If you decide to drive to your destination and your car isn’t eco-friendly, consider renting a hybrid or electric vehicle, which use less fuel and produce less carbon emissions than gas-guzzlers.
3. If you have the time, traveling via bus, train, or ship generally has less negative environmental impact than traveling by plane.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING GREEN HOTELS

1. When traveling in the U.S., check to see if the hotel has LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The program judges hotels on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. 2. When traveling overseas, look for seals of approval from other certification programs, such as EarthCheck (Australia), Green Globe, Rainforest Alliance (Latin America, Caribbean), and Green Tourism Business Scheme (UK). Some countries, including Costa Rica, have their own certification programs to rate sustainability initiatives. 3. Ask if the hotel has a recycling program. If not, encourage them to start one when you leave suggestions on comments cards at check-out. Ask questions about the hotel’s sustainability initiatives, such as solar power, wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow toilets.

GREEN SHOPPING TIPS

1. Buy locally made (preferably handmade) products, rather than those that have been imported. 2. Seek out indigenous artisans when you can. When you buy directly from an artist, you’re not only helping them feed their family, but in many cases you’re helping to preserve their culture. We’ve also heard some pretty amazing stories by chatting these artisans up.

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