Summer is here and it’s time to travel! According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the travel industry is the fastest growing in the world, with over 715 million international arrivals worldwide in 2013. And whether we’re travelling for business or pleasure, locally or abroad, we make an impact. So, here are some tips on how to travel more sustainably.
- Before you go, set your thermostat and heater/air conditioner to the lowest settings. Unplug appliances, TV’s and cable converter boxes to avoid their phantom energy leakage of up to 40 watts per hour. Phantom energy refers to the fact that machines consume power even when they are turned off if they are plugged into a live outlet.
- Stop your newspaper delivery or donate the paper to your local Boys & Girls Club or other favorite organization.
- Purchase electronic tickets whenever possible for air travel. Not only do they reduce paper waste and are less easily lost, with e-tickets you can check in for a flight by phone, computer or airport kiosk. And the replacement cost for a paper ticket can be up to $75.
- Stay in Green Certified hotels when you travel. To certify as “green”, the hotel must meet environmental impact standards around reducing energy usage, implementing water conservation measures, instituting recycling programs, and other programs like buying local and organic food and encouraging customers to reuse towels and linens. Green Globe is the global certification for sustainable tourism and Green Seal is a non-profit that uses science-based programs to certify business, including hotels. Look for Green Globe or Green Seal certifications at your hotel.
- At the hotel, turn off tennis court lights, spa jets, saunas, exercise equipment and gym lights when you leave.
- Use public transportation or hotel vans and shuttles whenever possible. Car pool with other travelers if you rent a car. When renting a car, choose the smallest available or a hybrid or electric vehicle.
- Just like when you’re home, bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag when travelling. Eat organic and local food whenever possible.
- Take pictures and leave the environment as you found it. Never remove wildlife from its location, including flowers, shells and coral.
Getting into the habit of travelling more sustainably can increase your positive impact on the environment and help ensure that our beautiful travel destinations will be around for a long time to come. It is our responsibility to look after our world– even when travelling– and we hope these tips help you enjoy your vacation even more. For more information, check the web or contact Jude Frates at Frates Consulting: Jude@FratesConsulting.biz. And have a great summer vacation!