By Laura Chapman
Keeping it Green While traveling
For those who are truly committed to maintaining the environment, traveling is no exception when making green choices. Nevertheless, staying green while traveling can be difficult in that fossil fuels and other environmentally harmful practices are so closely associated with visiting new places. With the growing attention which is being devoted to the environment, however, travelers who want to be environmentally sustainable can choose from a growing number green forms of transport and accommodation.
The top way to travel in terms of energy efficiency, and hence carbon emissions, is cycling. Bikes are lightweight and are built for efficiency (allowing free-wheeling downhill, for example) offering the best ratio of miles to energy which is available. Without burning any fossil fuels, all one has to worry about while cycling is the air miles of one’s breakfast. Moreover, cycling is also a fantastic way to get fit, making it possible for the traveler to start gently then build up their fitness and power during their journey; maybe even keeping the level of fitness when they get home and incorporating cycling into their normal routine. Of course, far from being just a means of transportation, cycling can be the centerpiece of a holiday, such as traveling through Holland on two wheels and in the open air.
Somewhere to Stay
Finding an environmentally friendly place to stay while traveling can be rather difficult, especially while cycling (for example), when a traveler doesn’t know precisely where they will be staying on a given night. There are ways, however, to choose the greenest hotels. One of the most obvious methods, when booking ahead, is to search the hotel’s website for environmental accreditation and membership of green associations. By looking out for the clear signs of green-thinking (water-collection facilities, solar panels etc.) it is possible to spot a green hotel from the street. In addition, it is useful to note small points about the running of the hotel, while a guest, which should help to decide whether one should stay there again: do they recycle rubbish? do they provide individual amenities (soap, shampoo)?
While traveling, some may wish to stay in a hotel which is specifically tuned to conservation. Through research it is possible to find a hotel on a traveler’s route which active in providing sanctuary for local wildlife – once more, this is a great way to give one’s economic vote to businesses which are active in being green.
Travel and getting around is one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions and other pollution word-wide. Therefore it presents an opportunity for people who enjoy travel and seeing new places to be active in choosing the most environmentally sustainable transport and accommodation. As such, travelers can make a difference while they enjoy themselves and see more of the world.
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