The Greatest Tips for Green Travel

Happy Earth Day! Have you ever thought of how you can be as energy efficient on the road as you are at home? Maybe you’ve estimated your carbon footprint every year. You might turn lights off religiously and even have Energy Star fixtures installed in your house. But do you have to lose what you’ve learned when you travel? Of course not! We’ll help guide you through greener travel from start to finish.

Taking off: Energy efficient practices start before you leave for your adventure. But, wait: wasn’t this blog supposed to be about saving energy while traveling? Yes, but you’ve missed the point if you don’t prepare your home before heading out. Our tips?

  • Unplug, unplug, unplug–“Vampire energy” almost sounds like the title of a teenage romance book, but it actually refers to the energy consumed from unused devices that are still plugged in. Take those TV accessories for example: a standard cable box uses almost 40 watts– even with the power off.
  • Pack lighter–You may not always consider this, but cutting the dead weight out of your luggage helps conserve gas emissions for planes and cars.
  • Book green–Whether you’re renting rooms or cars, make sure you find a service that aligns with your values. Sustainable companies are likely to disclose their best practices and energy consciousness on their websites. Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Check TIES Member Directory for quick reference.
  • Take flight–You probably won’t believe this, but flying (instead of driving) to your destination saves energy. How? Airplanes pack more passengers into a tighter space, whereas cars usually hold approximately 1.38 people (Looks weird, right?). We’re not saying you should catch a flight to a place just two hours away, but plane travel is a more efficient way to travel if it happens to be a viable option. If you must take a car, always find a way to fill as many empty seats as possible.

Getting there: When you’re away from home, you might feel as though you’re out of control of your energy expenditures. That’s not true!

  • Starving? Finding local fare within walking distance from your room will decrease gasoline emissions. Plus, walking keeps your pedometer happy.
  • Got wheels? Park your car and opt for more energy savvy transportation. Public transportation is a great start. If you’re comfortable with the bike and pedestrian-friendliness of the city, even better!
  • Shut off the lights!–Your mom used to tell you the same thing. She might have been more concerned about money than the ecosystem, but as we mentioned in our last blog , the two go hand in hand.
  • Do not disturb!–The cards and door signs are there for a reason. Do you really need your linens cleaned every day? You might need new towels, but how necessary is it to change your sheets daily when you don’t even do it at home? (Or do you?)
  • Shorten those showers!–Even cutting showers by one minute can conserve between 547 and 2,007 gallons per year.
  • Turn down for what?–Crank the thermostat up two degrees during the summer, and turn it down two degrees in the winter. Doing this will save over 5% in energy costs for your room.

Going home: You’ve had an enjoyable stay, and now it’s time to revisit the homefront. What can you do to finish your trip off right and leave a positive impression on the hotel staff?

  • Sort it out–Round up your trash and find the marked recycling bins outside the hotel. If you can’t locate them, ask a hotel rep to help you. Talking about recycling generates greater awareness.
  • Constructive criticism–If they don’t offer any recycling service, make recommendations to the staff or drop a comment card at the front desk.
  • Reuse, Recycle–Leave your guidebooks and brochures in the room for the next guest. Or recycle them if there’s a designated bin.
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