Bring your eco habits on that next vacation


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Taking time off from work doesn’t mean you have to take time off from being green. Whether you are traveling 300 miles or 3,000 miles, there are several ways you can reduce your environmental impact while vacationing.

To help simplify ways to travel more greenly, the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University has developed a list of 10 simple tips. Among these are continuing good eco habits while traveling, supporting local businesses and using fuel-efficient transportation to get around. For the full list, click here.

If you will be road-tripping it this summer, consider these five tips from Chevrolet:

1. Avoid the drive-through. (Sitting in the drive-through line for 15 minutes burns through an average of a quarter of a gallon.) Instead, park your car and go eat inside the restaurant. You’re on vacation, what’s the rush?
2. Don’t jump on the gas at every light and then slam on the brakes when traffic hits. Smooth driving can improve your mileage by 20%.
3. Keep it at 70 MPH. Compared with driving at 10 MPH, this can save you up to 4 miles per gallon on the highway.
4. Maintain a constant speed and use cruise control when possible.
5. Use the A/C when it’s hot. Yes its nice to feel the breeze on the road with your windows open, but the increased air pressure when driving on the highway acts like a parachute and consumes more energy than air conditioning.

Fortunately, when it comes to green travel, you aren’t on your own. Many airlines, including United and Continental participate in carbon offset programs that enable passengers to “offset” the impact of flying by donating to various environmental funds.

And Virgin Atlantic just announced a new green initiative. Click here to learn more about that.

That’s the travel part. Find some eco-friendly accommodations at GreenHotels.com.

Happy “green” trails!