Wander Smart
Monday, April 13, 2009 | Author: eventer79

Traveling this weekend left me thinking about how we can make our trips more effecient and less wasteful without annoying the snot out of ourselves. So here are a few easy tips for getting to and getting around the places you want to be without screwing them up in the process.

*USE taxis, buses, trains, trams. Not only do you save money on fuel, but you reduce your impact AND the amount of time you spend lost in some random place. Even better, walk or ride a bike and get a perspective you would have missed zipping by in a vehicle.

*In hotels, don't have the maid service come in every day. Do you change your sheets and towels at home every day? Yeah right, don't lie, no you don't. This saves a TON of water and energy every time you hang that 'do not disturb' card. Plus, no one that you don't know is entering your hotel room and exposing your belongings to outsiders.

*Hiking? Always stay on trails and paths -- straying increases erosion and you may be unknowingly trampling plants and animals that cannot survive your clodhoppers.

*Reuse water bottles by refilling from a tap or one large central source instead of buying a new bottle of water every time. It's also a great place to stick travel stickers!!

*Turn off all the lights when you leave your hotel room -- the switch is right by the door and is easy to flip on as soon as you get back.

*When eating out, you really don't need to grab 42 napkins when you pick up your food. One or two will do and will cut down on waste.

*Choose your activites carefully. Hike through the forest instead of riding in a Jeep or ATV -- these vehicles do a LOT of damage every time they pass through a habitat and eat fuel as well as squishing plants and animals. Sports like golf hog resources and land, so if you must partake, choose a course that uses recycled water and preserves habitat for wildlife.

*Only grab those brochures or maps if you are really going to use them, and recycle it when you are done.

*If you see trash lying on the ground, pick up at least one piece and dispose of it properly, every little bit helps.

*Don't patronize hotels/resorts/activity providers who do not practice at least basic conservation measures to save water and energy. If a giant resort has been built smack in the middle of pristine forest habitat and is lit up like an alien landing strip and is covered by concrete, you can bet your money is going right towards habitat carnage. Try to choose businesses who support the local community and are pro-active about conservation.

*Don't buy souvenirs like shells, butterflies, meats, wood products or other items which may come from imperiled species or habitats. Take lots of photos (digital, of course, almost unlimited reuse and doesn't consume paper or chemicals) and try to buy directly from the person who makes the craft or item of your choice, should you choose to buy (and always buy local, of course).

*Don't underestimate the great time you can have closer to home -- a local state park or waterway undoubtedly holds adventures all its own and will be cheaper and much more effecient to get to.
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On April 13, 2009 at 3:43 PM , lifeshighway said...

Or travel with an environmentalist who does all the thinking and worrying for you.

On April 13, 2009 at 9:39 PM , eventer79 said...

This is also an acceptable cheat.

On April 14, 2009 at 1:51 AM , Clair said...

hey you! I'll email you asap!