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Monday, April 15, 2024

    Going Green When Traveling During The Holidays

    Going Green When Traveling During The Holidays  – There’s no way around it. Travel impacts the environment. From carbon emissions to plastic airport forks, travelers have their own effects on global environmental health. Although travel is peaking during holiday periods, there are several ways those setting out on adventures this holiday season can reduce or offset the impacts associated with their travel.

    Wait to Wrap Gifts

    The Transportation Security Administration advises travelers not to wrap gifts in case they have to be unwrapped during screening inspections—and this applies to both carryon and checked luggage. Travelers can reduce paper waste by waiting to wrap gifts until arriving at their destinations. Or better yet, by using reusable gift bags or boxes.

    Travel With Reusable Toiletry Containers

    Travelers who aren’t staying in hotels during their travels and prefer to travel with their own toiletries should consider purchasing reusable toiletry containers instead of buying travel-sized versions of their favorite brands. Not only does it save money (travel-sized toiletries are priced for convenience), it also saves the packaging and byproduct of producing such tiny package sizes.

    Take Reusable Cups and Utensils

    Takeout meals are nearly ubiquitous among travelers, particularly with liquids and gels restricted through airport security checkpoints. While it’s always greener to take your own food, travelers can at the very least cut down on their use of single-use plastics by taking their own reusable utensils, cups, water bottles and drinking straws (or going strawless entirely).

    Offset Carbon Emissions

    Although commercial aviation accounts for a small fraction of global carbon emissions, it’s one of the most emitting forms of transportation per passenger. However, air travel is unavoidable for many travelers, so the best way to address carbon emissions as an individual passenger is to buy carbon offsets, which effectively cancel out a flight’s carbon emissions.

    How to Buy Carbon Offsets

    Carbon offsets contribute toward clean energy (to replace other carbon energy sources) or reforestation/avoided deforestation projects (to scrub carbon from the atmosphere). Many airlines offer links to partners selling carbon offsets calculated off the length of their flight.

    If your airline doesn’t sell carbon offsets directly,, The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International are all reputable providers.

    RELATED: 5 Tips When Traveling Alone

    Take The Train

    Compared with flying, train travel generally produces less per passenger in carbon emissions on shorter, direct routings (the length and circuity of long distance trains generally cancels out the emissions savings).

    This is particularly true on Amtrak services in the Northeast Corridor, where the trains are electric, rather than diesel, and typically operate on mileage-efficient routings between cities.

    Eat Local

    Travelers joining together for meals this season can consider choosing local options. Holiday travelers can reduce their carbon footprints by selecting meals comprised of foods that are grown locally and haven’t traveled long distances. It’s easier than one might think. Just visit any local farmer’s market for a taste of local produce.


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