Green travel no longer means sleeping in tents and showering once a week. Today, all travelers should be cognizant of how much energy they use while vacationing and practice responsible travel. With the World Travel and Tourism Council projecting that global tourism will increase from a $7.1 trillion industry in 2007 to a $13.2 trillion industry in 2017, it is more important for all tourists to ensure the only thing we leave behind is a footprint.
Even during a fun-filled girls’ getaway, there are things we can all do to make sure our trip is everything we expect while remaining “green.” Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl™ and author of the Girls Getaway Guide to Orlando: Leave Your Baggage at Home, was an Environmental Studies major and recommends the following tips for staying “green” during your next getaway.
What Can You Do to Stay Green During Your Girls Getaway?
· Accommodations – Make sure the hotel you patron is environmentally friendly. Do they recycle? Do they have a towel and sheet reuse option? Be sure to provide feedback to the hotel regarding your stay and their environmental practices.
· Your Habits – In keeping with eco-friendly habits you should already practice at home, turn off all electrical devices (television, lights, heat, air conditioning) when they are not in use, reuse your towels and sheets, keep showers brief and turn off water while brushing your teeth and bring your own toiletries. Also, be sure to use a digital camera.
· Transportation – Use public transportation (or walk or bike) whenever possible, rent a hybrid car, travel in groups, use the hotel van, and take fewer and longer trips to reduce energy usage.
· Sightseeing – Buy local products to support the local economy, travel with an environmentally-sensitive tour operator, during outdoor activities do not disturb the natural environment, take only the necessary brochures and maps and don’t buy endangered species products.
· Food – Try to eat locally-grown food to support the local economy and reduce transportation, carry bottled water with you and refill as needed, pack a few plastic bags for saving half-used items, avoid Styrofoam and avoid room service.
For more information or if you have additional green travel tips to share, visit www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net.
Girls Getaway Guide to Orlando: Leave Your Baggage at Home is the first in a series of women-specific guides by Wohl. It can be purchased at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net, in select Barnes & Noble stores, on Amazon.com or Target.com or in select boutiques and gift stores.
Photo: Author Casey Wohl & Heather wait for the El, Chicago's public transportation.