Eco-friendly travel ideas
Eco-friendly travel ideas
According to the Google maps flight emission calculator, a direct flight from Denver Colorado to Jacksonville Florida (1,445 miles) produces 1.173 tons of CO2 emissions. That breaks down to 564lbs per-person. This is a relatively short distance compared to intercontinental flight miles, but it illustrates the small part we all play in the 700 million tons of carbon dioxide produced by the worlds 16,000 commercial airlines every year.
Here are a few ideas that eco-conscious travelers have found to decrease these appalling numbers and the impact of global warming. Here are a few ideas on how to do this:
Take a nature trip
Backpacking, camping, and other nature trips are environmentally friendly ways to lessen your carbon footprint on the earth while simultaneously increasing our appreciation for what it has to offer us recreationally. National parks offer a wide variety of mountains, beaches, and other natural entertainment parks that make their man-made counterparts pale in comparison.
Biking tours are another eco-friendly vacation idea. Whether it is the arid beauty of the deserts of New Mexico, the majestic cliffs of the Rockies, or the azure waters of the Hawaiian Islands, a bike tour is a healthy and enjoyable way to spend a vacation that leaves behind a nearly non-existent carbon footprint.
Regardless of which vacation you choose, there are additional steps that can be taken to minimize carbon emissions and pollutants that enter into the environment.
Take a train, bus or car instead of flying
Since planes have such high carbon dioxide emission and fuel consumption, taking trains or buses to your hiking or camping vacation destination is the greenest form of transportation that can be used that leaves a minimal carbon footprint.
Assuming a car has four people in it, the amount of CO2 waste per person for the same Denver to Jacksonville trip would be 421.5lbs per-passenger. It would be 564.70lbs per-passenger in a train, and 303.48lbs if the passenger took a bus.
When flying book direct flights
Since taking off and landing uses the most amount of fuel during a flight, if there is no other recourse than flying, direct flights are much greener than layovers.
Pack light and eco-friendly
Taking only the essentials and filling re-usable containers is important, especially when traveling on public transportation, because it makes it easier to get around and less likely that plastic and other environmentally harmful materials enter the eco-system.
Adjust heating, air and unplug electronics
According to Department of Energy estimates vampire energy (also called standby power) consumed by electronics that are turned off, or left on standby, account for an estimated five percent of total electronic consumption in the U.S.
Unplugging electronics before leaving the house avoids this unnecessary energy waste and has the added benefit of lengthening the overall life of electronics.
Nature trips, public transportation, direct flights, eco-friendly packing, and unplugging electronics are some of the best ways to make sure that you leave as few carbon footprints as possible on your next vacation.
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