America’s transportation industry is responsible for approximately 40 percent of our country’s fossil fuel–related carbon dioxide emissions. But seeing the world doesn’t have to mean playing a part in destroying it. These eco-friendly travel ideas can make your next vacation much greener.
Rent an Eco-Friendly Hire Car
Rather than taking your old gas guzzler on a road trip, consider renting an eco-friendly hire car instead. Car rental companies such as Budget Rent-A-Car and Enterprise Rent-A-Car proudly offer a comprehensive range of eco-friendly vehicles. Roughly half of Budget’s vehicles get 28 miles per gallon or more on the open road, and nearly all its A-, B-, and C-class vehicles are U.S. EPA SmartWay Certified. Enterprise has more hybrid cars than any other rental company in the country, with these green options available in states such as California, Florida, New York, and Texas.
In addition, both firms let you minimize your carbon footprint even further by offsetting your emissions. This will add a little more to the cost of your trip, but you’ll barely notice if you’re using a discount coupon. Online coupons for Budget and Enterprise are available from sites such as Goodshop, which donates up to 2 percent of your rental-car fee to a charity of your choice. Like the Budget and Enterprise Coupons for Good Facebook pages to learn of the latest discounts.
Green travelers know it’s important to pack lightly. The more weight your rental car, train, or plane carries, the more fuel it will use. Under such strain, your mode of transport releases more harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That realization should help convince you to pare back your travel wardrobe!
Book Sustainable Accommodation
Eco-tourism serves as the latest travel trend, and accommodation providers are starting to take notice. Many hotels and resorts have recycling programs, solar and wind power, energy-efficient lighting, and other green additions. Reward businesses that behave more sustainably and choose an environmentally friendly hotel, bed-and-breakfast, or eco-lodge for your next vacation. There are several websites that list eco-friendly accommodations. Each site’s rating criteria differs, so make sure you do your homework to ensure your lodging matches your eco ethos. The Green Hotels Association is a great place to start.
Walk or Cycle Around Your Travel Destination
Once you arrive at your destination, park your rental car at your accommodation and explore the city on foot or on two wheels. Walking and cycling are both completely carbon-neutral ways of getting around a new city. Many hotels even offer bike hire so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own two-wheeler. As well as offering green ways to sightsee, both travel options let you discover a lot more about a local area than you would by zooming through the streets in a car or catching public transport. If something interesting catches your eye during your travels, you can stop and explore it.
By considering your mode of transport carefully and choosing greener options during your journey, you can make sure the sites you see on your next vacation are still there to be enjoyed by generations to come.