Eco-Living Magazine

5 Tips for Going Green on Your Next Trip

By T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon

luggage photo

Studying abroad has many perks, and one of these is the chance to do your part to protect the environment while you learn about other cultures. Yet, doing so takes a little forward thinking. When you travel, your carbon footprint can increase substantially if you are not careful. With these top tips, you can travel while still promoting your green ideas.

Lighten up that Suitcase

A heavy suitcase may not seem like a big deal, but the truth is that the heavier your luggage, the more fuel your airplane or car will use to get you to your destination. This is why airlines have started charging for oversized bags. So lighten up you load to conserve fuel. As an added perk, lightening up that suitcase will help ease your stress as you travel. There is less unpacking to do and less to haul around with you as you get from one place to the next.

Take Public Transportation

Most destinations that offer study abroad programs have excellent public transportation systems. Whether you take the subway, trolley or bus, doing so will help lesson your impact on the environment. When you take public transportation, you conserve fuel. Why is this? Because when you take public transportation, a private vehicle that would have been on the road is not. This lowers emissions and helps you lower your carbon footprint. You also won’t be putting fuel in a car or paying to rent one while you are abroad, which is an added bonus.

Watch Those Water Bottles

Traveling inevitably brings consumables, but you can do your part by recycling whenever possible. Find out if there are recycling places at your destination where you can turn in your plastic water or soda bottles. Bring your own conditioner and shampoo in small reusable bottles that you fill at home. Recycle everything you can as you go about your studies.

Green up Your Technology

You will rely heavily on technology while you travel, especially while traveling for school, so why not “green up” that tech before you go. Consider phones with solar panels or more energy efficient computers. Also, take advantage of energy-saving options at your destination. Many international destinations are known for their tech innovations that harness energy efficient designs. so use these if you can. For example, look for laundry facilities with efficient washing machines when traveling.

Shop Sustainable

Traveling almost always means shopping, but you can be eco-conscious by shopping with the local vendors or choosing recycled things to buy. A local tradesman who is using local wood to carve trinkets is a better choice for your souvenir shopping than the tourist trap shop with the plastic trinkets. The local tradesman not only has a more vested interest in the local economy, but he also uses a renewable resource that did not travel thousands of miles to get to your hands. When buying food, look for sustainable, locally grown options whenever possible.

We all need to be doing our part to protect the environment. When traveling, this is easier than you might think. With these tips, you can be an eco-conscious traveler.

Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.

5 Tips for Going Green on Your Next Trip

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