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How To Plan A Green Vacation

  • Travel Trends
  • July 1st, 2011

Are you ready to go green on your next vacation? Don’t worry, having an eco-friendly vacation doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. Here are some tips on green travel and accommodation to help you in your endeavor, while keeping it fun.

Fly or drive?

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We’ve all heard about the damage to the environment caused by carbon emissions and it seems natural that planes would be a major culprit. However, travelling by car also racks up those emissions and with starts and stops could have a major environmental impact during your trip. Believe it or not, in terms of impact per person, taking a direct flight on a full plane could be more environmentally friendly than driving. Find an eco-friendly travel agent and discuss your options.

Green Accommodation

Gone are the days when staying in a hotel meant using as much electricity and water as you wanted without thinking of the consequences. These days you can get eco-friendly accommodation, though you can still enjoy a relaxing holiday in luxurious surroundings. Green hotels emphasize reducing waste by installing bathroom facilities that use less water and low-energy lighting. Instead of changing your towel daily (which means more water and electricity use), they may implement a system where you discard the towel when it is ready to be changed. Green hotels may also have a recycling policy. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly Hotel in the US, check out for some options.

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Choosing a Green Destination

You can also make your vacation destination equally friendly by choosing a tour which keeps an eye on its environmental impact. Eco-friendly tours often provide education, operate in small groups and use local resources and businesses wherever possible. They will also encourage you to reduce packaging consumption and to dispose of waste responsibly. It’s not difficult to find attractions that meet these criteria. And don’t forget that when you get to your destination you can choose to vote with your feet and walk to some nearby attractions. Public transport is also a way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Green Packing

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a good motto when packing for your eco-friendly vacation. Bypass the convenient travel sizes of your favorite toiletries in favor of a more eco friendly option: reusable bottles which you can fill at home. Take water bottles for the family that you can refill before you go out on day trips. All of these will help you to pack light, which means less weight for you to carry and less weight on the plane. Remember, the lighter your luggage is, the less fuel the plane needs for lift off.

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Finally, consider buying carbon offset coupons. These will help with tree planting projects, wind farms and other eco-friendly schemes and will diminish the environmental impact of your vacation.


Here are some additional resources to help you plan a Green vacation:

  • Center for Sustainable Destinations – National Geographic (check out their resources page)
  • Climate Trust
  • Conservation International
  • Eco Holidaying
  • Green Hotels
  • International Eco Tourism Society
  • Native Energy
  • Planeta
  • Sustainable Travel
  • The Green Guide


About the author
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger  who runs the Taking Off Travel Blog for off airport parking provider Park Ride Fly USA.

Tagged with: eco-friendly destinations • eco-travel • environment • green hotels • green travel

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