The best way to an environmentally friendly vacation
In these times, everyone could use a vacation, even if it’s for just a day or two. A new, smart, and, most importantly, environmentally friendly trend is on the rise: the “staycation.” A staycation doesn’t require a pricey airplane ticket. A relaxing getaway is right under your nose, ready for the taking, ready to leave an impression upon your deserving body and mind, not on your wallet or the Earth.
A staycation is exactly like a vacation, only traveling to some far off location is not necessary. While on a staycation one can stay a night in a good hotel, see various tourist sites and visit a restaurant to try something new, only at the local level. Because airplanes emit carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapors into our atmosphere at about three times the rate of cars, they greatly contribute to global climate change. Traveling only a few miles away from home has less of an impact on the environment than flying cross-country.
- Research your area for “green” hotels and book a night or two.
- Plan your trip by day. Visit national parks, conservation areas, lectures; all of which can be very inexpensive and very insightful. Search for parks by location.
- Take the bus or subway to your hotel.
- Once you get to your hotel, ask about any shuttle buses that may go to your various planned destinations, chances they’re available.
- For a low carbon impact lunch, visit a vegetarian or vegan restaurant. Calculate how much carbon your eating style is contributing to the atmosphere on the Low Carbon Diet Calculator.
- Once you’re at a national park or conservation area, ride a bike. It’s great exercise and it will allow you to take in the sights better rather than through a vehicle window.
- Back at your hotel, reduce your waste by reusing towels and not having your sheets changed.
…to your health
Taking any amount of time off to relax and rejuvenate is endlessly beneficial to your overall health. Also, city dwellers are often exposed to numerous air pollutants from car emissions and industrial sites, which can have both short term and long term effects such as irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, upper respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, worsen allergy conditions, all of which can lead to chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, and heart disease.
…to your wallet
Staying local can cost much, much less than an airplane trip to an exotic location.
…to the Earth
Because airplanes emit three times as many greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, walking or driving only a few miles significantly lowers the impact on the environment. Neither the Kyoto Protocol nor any other current regulations restrict carbon emissions of airplanes, even though they emit up to 600 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Driving to a location hundreds of miles away defeats the purpose.
While on a vacation, you wouldn’t normally have your own car. So, for your staycation consider public transportation, riding your bike, or both. It will not only save you money, but reduce carbon emissions too.