Admittedly, I’m a wanderlust, and I must go green when I travel. Years spent working in aviation and moonlighting as a travel writer in my past life (ie. pre-Mom days) gave me a thirst for exploration. I’ve traveled throughout North American, across the pond to England and explored in Europe and Japan. Back in those seemingly carefree days, I still cared about the environment but I didn’t spend much time thinking about the impact and energy consumption I and the $1.3 trillion industry was having on our planet. According to “The Green Book,” (Three Rivers Press) air travel alone is “fast becoming the largest contributor of green-house gas emissions.” I see things a little different now. I’m more educated, but I’ve still got the travel bug.

3 Travel Tips to Go Green

You may be trying to squeeze in one last family “HURRAH!” before school starts, or perhaps you’ve got plans for a long weekend excursion over Memorial Day weekend. Wherever the wind takes you, let your heart (and your conscience) be your guide for travel to help protect the planet. I’ve listed a few options – some you may already be doing.

3 Travel Tips to Go Green

Before You Go

  • Do a run through: make sure appliances are unplugged, mail and newspaper delivery has been stopped and  lights are off
  • Get the Right Temperature: Make sure shades and blinds are pulled, and set your thermostats. The Green Book recommends 50-degrees for cold months and 85-degrees for the heat.

On the Plane

At the Hotel

  • Reusing linens (towels and sheets) makes a big difference. I’m not sure about you, but in the Mangum house Monday is sheet-changing day. I don’t wash our family’s bedding on a daily basis at home – why would I need someone else to do it on the road? Take advantage of hotels water conservation programs.
  • Small Soaps = Big Impact: Buy using your own toiletries instead of opting for the small hotelier sized soaps, toothpastes and hair products you can help reduce plastic waste. “A single three-hundred-room hotel in Last Vegas uses more than 150,000 plastic bottles of shampoo a year,” (pg. 27).

There are so many more “ways to save” on energy and to protect our planet while enjoying its bounties. Enjoy your go green travels!

photo via Annie Spratt