Tips for traveling green during the holidays

Herb Garden in Fredericksburg, Texas

Meals prepared for guests at the Herb Farm in Fredericksburg, Texas use herbs and vegetables from on-site gardens.

The holiday travel season will get in full swing in less than a month. If you’re planning visits to family or friends or just celebrating festivities on a fun holiday, give some thought to minimizing your
carbon footprints. Experts from Ryerson University in Toronto offer these tips for sustainable travel:
Way to go:
Flying is the most carbon-intensive way to travel—accounting for two to five percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. But you can offset carbon emissions with organizations like www.offsetters.com or www.terapass.com Expedia allows travelers the option to offset an airplane’s carbon emissions when they book a ticket. Consider taking a bus or train to your destination; you’ll arrive rested and perhaps make friends along the way.
Where to stay:

Los Poblanos in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fresh, local produce is served for breakfast at Los Poblanos Inn, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Many hotels these days are incorporating “green” policies and working diligently to receive “green” certifications. Ask what a particular accommodation is doing to protect the environment and support the local community when you book a stay. Find a directory of eco-friendly U.S. hotels at
www.greenhotels.com. Check for “green” hotels and lodges worldwide at www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com

How to conserve:
  • Support travel agencies that have responsible
    tourism policies.
  • Ask about sustainability practices of hotels
  • Buy locally made souvenirs
  • Eat at local restaurants (skip fast-food places
    and take-out)
  • Shop at local farmers’ markets
  • Take public transit when possible
  • Unplug your cell phone charger and turn off
    lights to reduce energy consumption
  • Take shorter showers to conserve water and reuse towels

Eve's Garden Bed and Breakfast in Marathon, Texas

Buildings at Eve's Garden B and B in Marathon, Texas are made of recycled material

Where to go:

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier
Read more travel stories by Beverly at Going on Adventures.
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