Green Your Summer: Tips to “Think Green” While on Vacation

By Amanda Cunningham on May 22, 2014 from Green Your Summer via

After long snowy winter, West Virginia residents are gearing up for what is expected to be a busy summer travel season.  Waste Management is here to offer eight tips to help travelers “think green” when planning summer vacations.
Summer travel will begin this weekend, when AAA predicts that close to 35 million people will travel over the Memorial Day holiday.
Whether you’re traveling domestically or abroad, Waste Management offers eight tips to help you “Think Green” this vacation season.
1. Do a Little Research: Popular travel sites offer just about any advice for just about any place you want to visit, including ideas and information about eco-tourism, environmentally friendly lodging and activities.  Other sites such as, , offer great tips and ideas on how to travel in an ethical and sustainable way.  Find a few things on these sites that suit your style, but won’t cramp it.
2. Choose Environmentally Friendly Lodging Options: Many hotels both in the United States and internationally can obtain “green certifications”.  Before booking, ask the hotel if they have any special certifications, have won any awards or have environmentally friendly options for guests such as recycling. During your stay, let management know that it is not necessary to change your towels and sheets every day. When you leave the room, turn off the AC/heat, lights and TV. Leave the little bottles of shampoo, if you don't use them. Avoid room service.
3. Take a Non-Stop Flight:  If possible, choose a non-stop flight for travel.  This reduces carbon emissions by not having the extra take-off/touch down fuel use.
4. Go Carbon-Zero:  Reduce your own travel carbon footprint by riding a bike while on vacation or renting a hybrid car.  Also consider purchasing “carbon credits” as a way to neutralize the carbon emissions from flying.  Check out to learn more.
5. Support Eco-Tourism Activities and Businesses: Get outdoors and get active, visit national parks and protected areas and choose activities/recreation that supports sustaining and protecting the earth.
6. Leave No Trace:  When enjoying the outdoors, “Take only photos, leave only footprints”.   While enjoying nature, watching wildlife or throughout your vacation, think about how to have the least amount of impact on nature. 
7. Take Part in the Local Affair: Buy local products whenever possible instead of buying products that have been flown or shipped in from overseas.  Visit local markets and eat at restaurants where food is sourced locally.
8. Green Gift Giving:  While traveling, look for gifts that are made by local artisans with recycled or reused materials.  However, be careful not to buy any products made from endangered animals or plants.  Check the US Customs website for more details.
With a little bit of planning, you can make sure you and your travel companions are practicing ecofriendly habitats. Waste Management encourages our customers to “think green” at home, and hope they continue these practices when traveling near or far.

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