Thousands of Americans will head for cities, resorts and beach destinations this summer for a little stimulation, rest and relaxation. With more and more aware of their carbon footprint impact on the environment, ten tips from The New Colonist, a web magazine about sustainable city life, will help provide a guide for a small summer trip footprint, and make it sustainable and fun. More and more of us are consciously adopting sustainable practices at home, says Eric Miller, Publisher. Its important to keep those habits when we travel. Some of them can even make the trip that much more rewarding.
Text of Ten Tips For Sustainable Summer Travel
1. Ten Tips for Sustainable Summer Travel
Choose a local over an exotic destination. Consider a local beach, or at least one that doesnt involve flying over water, instead. There are many enticing destinations waiting to be discovered right near home. As an alternative to a cruise or a road trip, try a rails-to-trails bicycle trip. Rail-trails have no hills to speak of and go through generally undeveloped country.
Travel to your destination by train or bus. Traveling by air and driving are both major contributors to carbon emissions. Train travel is convenient in many parts of the country and Amtrak serves dozens of fun destinations including San Diego and Miami, Fl. In addition, new bus lines are making bus travel more comfortable and affordable than ever.
Visit compact cities where you don't need a car to get around. Many cities offer a mix of city life and still provide access to a beach. New York may not be the first place you think of for a summer vacation, but a day trip to the beach is only a short train ride away.
Use Public Transit once you arrive. This saves the headaches of renting, insuring and returning a car in addition to making your trip footprint smaller. Check out the International Public Transport Timetable Directory at www.timetable.ch before you go.
Rent a bike to get around. If youre used to riding a bike at home, theres no need to go without one during your trip. If dont normally use a bike, discover how riding one can make exploring a new local fun. Check out http://tinyurl.com/worldbikeshare for a list of world bike-sharing programs.
Stay at a locally-owned hotel to bring additional charm to your vacation. The owners will be more able to recommend local sites that you can reach without the bother of driving. Many smaller hotels can be found on by clicking on the Hotel tab at newcolonist.com. Check out www.bedandbreakfast.com to find those accommodations.
Seek out restaurants that use locally-grown ingredients. It may not seem like the easiest task, but even if every restaurant you choose doesnt support local food production, just asking could put the bug in their ear.
Ask the hotel not to change your linens daily. Few of us change our linens daily at home and yet we expect this in a hotel. Help the hotel save some water by asking them not to change the linens. Oh, and when in the restaurant, ask them not to bring water if youre not going to drink it.
Carry a cloth shopping bag or two when you go shopping. Sure, for some it can be fun to carry a bag with a brand name on it. It conveys a little about who we are. Carrying a cloth bag for the things we pick up in stores also sends a message. If you dont want to bring a supermarket bag, re-use a brand-name bag you have at home.
Turn off lights, television, heat and air conditioning when you leave your hotel room. Its easy not to care as much when youre not picking up the tab. Turning out the lights, heat, air conditioning and television can go a long way to making your vacation sustainable. Also, close the curtains to keep the sun out and make it easier to cool when you return.