How To Enjoy Eco-Friendly Vacations

Summer is the perfect time to travel because the weather warms up and makes it a great time of year to get outside. People create events and festivals to celebrate holidays and everyone starts planning vacations that they’ve been waiting for all year long. You’re probably one of those people, hoping to get away soon to a place where you can let go of your stress and the routine of your daily life. Things can get a little complicated when you start to plan, especially if you want to be eco-friendly.

Summer Travel. Credit: Rosanetur, FlickrCCTraveling isn’t the greenest way you can spend your time. The effort of getting to your location and what you’re going to be doing while you’re there are often things that aren’t environmentally friendly. Tourist attractions have more of a focus on making money than being kind to the earth. To keep yourself from making your carbon footprint any bigger this summer just by taking a vacation, read on for tips that will help you enjoy more eco-friendly getaways.

Try to Travel Green

The first major impact that you’ll have on the earth when you go on a vacation is the pollution that’s released by your method of travel. Cars and planes are notorious for releasing large amounts of CO2 into the air because of how their made and the fuel they run on. Tourism actually accounts for almost one tenth of the world’s carbon emissions. It’s a major problem that you can try to make a dent in by being aware of the pollution caused by how you travel.

There aren’t many locations you could get to by walking or biking, unless you want to have a stay-cation where you enjoy things happening around town. The next best option is to drive in a smart car or other eco-friendly option, like green buses. If you have to fly, you can compare airlines for carbon efficiency so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be flying with an airline that has the lowest pollution rate.

Visit Eco-Friendly Locations

Major tourist attractions like theme parks are going to have a lot of waste because of the large number of people they serve. You can enjoy time away at eco-friendly locations instead and opt to make memories somewhere new, rather than go where everybody else is going. Immerse yourself in nature by visiting a national park this summer. You can bring an RV and camp out to help you feel like you’re getting away from it all while you enjoy the earth in a greener way.

Buy From Local Businesses

Once you get to your vacation spot this summer, make an effort to buy from local businesses instead of the major international business chains. Local businesses help protect local lands and wildlife by operating on a smaller scale. That requires less chemically altered sprays and fertilizers, as well as less gas required to transport goods from provider to retailer. Plus, you’ll help keep local people and families employed instead of encouraging big businesses to come into the area and buy everyone out.

Having an eco-friendly vacation isn’t an impossibility, even if it feel like that may be the case. All it takes is a few extra minutes of thinking about how you can make your trip a little bit kinder on the earth. Consider how you’re going to travel, what you’re going to be doing and what you’ll need when you get there. The extra effort it’ll take to switch from a theme park to a national park or to an airline that thinks green will minimize your impact on the earth and make any future vacations more eco-friendly.

Emily Folk is the editor of Conservation Folks. She writes on topics of sustainability, conservation and green technology.