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Eco-Friendly Vacation Tips: 7 Easy Ways To Live Green When You’re Away On Vacation

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By Regina

green_vacation.jpgIt’s an interesting fact that most of us who take steps towards living green by recycling, using products that are less harmful to the environment, and whatever else we can do to keep our world healthy, don’t live this lifestyle while on vacation.

Why do many of us completely forget about the environment while on vacation?

We leave the lights on in our rooms when we’re not there, we rent a car that guzzles gas and spews toxins into the air, and many other things without even thinking about it.

Yet when we do these kinds of mindless things while on vacation, it has just as much of an impact on the environment as it does if we were to do it while at home.

Scary thought, isn’t it?

The good news is that just as we can green our habits at home, we can also green them on vacation.

First, before you even leave home, here are things you should do inside your house before you travel. Those simple steps should become routine, if not a habit, every time you travel.

Now, here are 7 things you can do to live the green while you’re away on vacation:


#1 – Don’t leave the lights on in your hotel room.

If it’s daylight out, open the curtains and use natural light instead of leaving them closed with the lights on. This will help to conserve energy, and in the long run can help to keep hotel rates down.


#2 – Whenever possible, use public transportation.

Now if you’re in the back of beyond where there is no public transportation that may not be possible. However, these days, even some of the smaller cities and towns have some form of public transportation and using it helps to cut down on air pollution. Not to mention you’ll see more of the place you’re visiting since most bus routes don’t take the short way to get where they’re going!


#3 – Turn off the air conditioning.

If you’re vacationing in a more tropical location, turn your A/C off whenever you’re not in your hotel room. Air conditioning eats up a lot of power, and turning it off when you’re not really using it is a great way to go green while on vacation. This is similar, in theory, to using a programmable thermostat at home.


#4 – Opt for no fresh towels or bedding.

If you are going to be at your destination for only a week or less, you don’t really need to have clean towels, sheets, and pillowcases every single day. You can cut down on the amount of energy the hotel is using to wash these things by opting for no new linens. After all, do you wash these things every day at home? I sure don’t!


#5 – Unplug appliances in your hotel room when not using them.

According to the department of energy, 75% of power used in homes is from electric appliances that are turned off but still plugged in. 75% ouch! That’s a lot of wasted power — not to mention money.


#6 – Scale down and pack light.

The more heavy bags you bring on vacation, the more energy is required by the transportation you’re using to carry them. Packing light is a good way to conserve energy.


#7 – Go digital instead of disposable.

If you take your digital camera instead of a slew of disposable cameras there will be fewer batteries in landfills and less paper and chemicals being used to process photographs. Since most of us just e-mail pictures these days anyway, it’s a fact that you don’t have to use prints anymore if you don’t want to — except for the occasional one for grandma who may not have a computer.

Here’s an interesting read: Hotel Towel Dilemma – Replacing vs Reusing Towels


These are just a few of the ways you can go green while on vacation. Any way that we can reduce our carbon footprints in everything we do — not just when we are at home — helps tremendously.

What are some creative or practical ways you’ve found to green your vacation?

Image background credit to Manuere