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[ Green Traveling: Small Details for a Small Planet ]

cliffCliff Barre, a writer for the Peace, Love, and Travel blog, recently contacted us here at [1thing] Northeastern Pennsylvania and was kind enough to guest write a great article about the idea of Green travel. He offers great tips on how to become an eco-friendly traveler and reduce your carbon footprint while traveling.  Check out what he recommends:

As a guy who wants to explore the planet, but also help save it for future generations, I have picked up a few good tips for eco-friendly travel.  With the right information, you can make your travels both exciting and environmentally responsible.

A truly green vacation actually starts before you leave the house.  To minimize your carbon footprint while you are away, take the time to ensure that your electronics and appliances are not using excess power.  While most of us have the sense to turn things off, not everybody knows that our electronic devices often consume power when they are simply plugged in.  This same principle applies to your water, which can be turned off from the outside, and your water heater, which can be turned down or set to “vacation”.

While you’re traveling, you can minimize your environmental impact by buying locally sourced products.  From a cultural standpoint, eating, shopping, and buying locally will mean truly experiencing the local culture.  Environmentally, it means using resources that have not been shipped in from far away, using planes, boats and other polluters. To see the sights, seek out a local tour company, particularly one that operates under environmentally friendly principles.  This means asking about how the tours affect the local community, and making sure to explore the environment in a responsible manner.

For a nice environmentally friendly getaway, Upstate New York offers many interesting attractions.  Nature lovers will find the pristine Finger Lakes both calming and awe inspiring, while wine lovers will enjoy the variety of local wineries in the area.  Near the city of Syracuse, travellers will find the newly opened Destiny USA, the world’s largest “green” shopping mall, certified by the LEED to be environmentally sustainable.

On the other side of the country, Portland, Oregon is another haven for the green traveller. The city itself is designed to be very environmentally friendly, with many opportunities for biking and walking among its many attractions such as the Saturday Market, the Oregon Zoo, and the Oregon Museum of Science. Why not get a little exercise, go green, and sightsee all at the same time, right?

Green travelling is about being conscious of our personal contribution to our surroundings.  It involves being aware of many small details, but once you get used to this way of thinking, it isn’t very hard at all.  We live on a planet that is worth exploring, and with a few good choices we can keep it that way.

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