Monday, September 10, 2007

Green Travel

Many eco-conscious people are also interested in supporting tourism in economies. Once you land, it’s local, right? To that end, we’ve amassed a list of tips for the “green travelers” among us. Please feel free to offer your own resources and posts. We really want to compile a great list of beta.

Travel Tips from Michael Shapiro, Special to: The San Francisco Chronicle
(read full article here: )
Friday, April 20, 2007
  • Before you leave: Turn down the thermostat and water heater at your home; most have a vacation setting. Put your newspaper delivery on hold.

  • Do your homework: Select hotels, tour companies and other travel providers that make a genuine commitment to environmental preservation. How can you tell? Ask them to e-mail a copy of their eco-policy. See if their catalog is printed on recycled paper; for tours, ask if accommodations are at chain hotels or locally owned lodgings. Lonely Planet's book "Code Green" lists almost 100 eco-friendly trips; for advice, see

  • Reuse towels and sheets: Many hotels now change towels and sheets only when you request it. Towels on the floor are replaced, while those on the rack are left to dry. Even if your hotel doesn't have a card urging you to do this, you can leave a note for housekeeping stating that you don't need the towels or sheets changed. You can also request that the hotel refrain from using chemical air fresheners and cleaning products in your room.

  • Beware of 'greenwashing': Many travel companies "cloak themselves in an eco-blanket" but aren't really green, says Geographic Expeditions' Jim Sano. He encourages travelers to ask outfitters how they select tour operators, whether they support local people, and what they do to minimize impact on the areas they visit.

  • Choose eco-friendly activities: When visiting a city, you can travel by tour bus or on foot. Walking is not only greener but also opens you to serendipitous encounters. Bike touring, whitewater rafting and kayaking can be green, depending on the tour operator.

  • Pack it out: When traveling to remote areas, from mountains to deserts, bring as little potential trash as possible and pack out whatever waste you create.

  • Consider the consequences: You might like a cold beer and hot shower after a day of trekking in the Himalayas, but tourist demands can lead to increased deforestation (to heat water) or to the disruption of traditional ways.

  • Get online: For a list of top eco-travel destinations, go to
For eco-friendly adventures listed by country and activity, visit

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