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Travel Greener

from Madeliza

With spring break around the corner, many of us will begin to plan trips and family getaways for the upcoming months. Whether we travel 30 miles from home or 3,000 miles, there are plenty of greener ways to travel!

“From the flight you book to the toiletries you pack, every travel decision you make impacts the environment,” says Sarah Engler in an article in the April/May issue of Airbnb’s magazine.

According to “30 Greener Ways to Go,” here are a few ways to reduce your footprint as you trot the globe!

  1. Put your house in sleep mode!The US Department of Energy suggests raising the temperature to 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and lowering it to 50 degrees in the winter while traveling to avoid cooling or heating an empty house. Closing all the curtains will help keep drafts out during winter and the sun from heating up your home during the summer.
  2. Pack Smarter!“In general, tourists tend to consume more than locals,” says Kaithlyn Brajcih, senior manager of communications and training for Sustainable Travel International. Bring reusable toiletry containers, collapsible/reusable water bottle, lightweight totes, and foldable straw.
  3. If flying, pick most fuel-efficient airlines!Jet fuel is the biggest contributor to a plane’s carbon emissions, says Peter Miller, director of the western region for the natural Resources Defense Council’s climate and clean energy program. Always pick a direct flight because take off and landing account for 25 percent of a plane’s carbon pollution. Alaska, Frontier, and Spirit are the most fuel-efficient domestic airlines according to the International Council on Clean Transportation.
  4. Leave no Trace!If traveling to a city, try to use public transportation, your own two feet, or a bike to get around. If you have to rent a car, ask the agency for a fuel-efficient or an electric model. Favor local businesses! Opt for farm-to-table restaurant or mom-and-pop diner over a national chain and artisan wares over mass-produced souvenirs.

“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to the places we love, and as travelers we also contribute to the problem. We should use this as a motivation to change the way we travel.” — Kaitlyn Brajcich