Written by: Danielle Pittner
The days are growing longer, the temperatures are rising, and with that comes, Spring Break! It’s time to take yourself somewhere warm, exotic, and relaxing; but vacation doesn’t mean throwing all of your environmental habits aside. Instead, take them on the road with you! There are green hotels and even green Air Miles with companies such as Expedia who offer carbon offsetting bundles to add to your flight purchase. While that is impressive, we offer you simple yet effective tips that are easy enough to remember and act upon amidst your sunbathing.
Our Green Tips won’t cost you any money, but will probably save you some! You may already be putting some of these tips into practice or you may find being ‘green’ cumbersome. Either way, we’re presenting these ideas with a budget and a life in mind. It’s not always possible to be green, but as the saying goes, ‘every little thing counts’ as you can tell by your overflowing penny jar. If you don’t have a penny jar, here’s a pre-tips tip… get one.
First things first, you’re going to want coffee in the morning. Or tea. Or some other beverage that is hot. Bring a travel mug. Take it to the coffee shop with you. Bam! You have eliminated the waste of throw away cups and cardboard sleeves.
Next, you’re going to be thirsty for something cold. Especially if you’re in more tropical climates. Get yourself a water bottle. If you’re still concerned with BPA (bisphenol A), have no fear as many water bottles are now BPA free. Fill it up at restaurants, bars, the hotel/hostel and feel fresh, hydrated, and proud of yourself. If you’re in a place where the water is questionable, bring iodine droplets or tablets . If you want to splurge, get a water bottle with a built in filter .
Most of us tend to grossly overpack. Whether we’re traveling for a few days, weeks, or months, we come up with situations in which we would need X, Y, and Z. The general rule of thumb for packing is lay out everything you’re planning to take and then take half of it. When it comes to toiletries, Dr. Bronner’s has your packing solution. This brand provides a good all purpose soap that can be used on hair, body, clothes, and even teeth (check out the 18-in-1 uses).
Traveling light not only prevents future back problems but your check-in bag costs decrease, and most importantly, it frees you up to modes of transportation other than the gas-guzzling-air-polluting automobile. Ride a bike to sightsee, hop on a bus to the market, or walk the few miles to the beach. You also get to see more of the local scene.
You’re probably familiar with the myriad versions of reusable grocery bags. They’re cute, they’re compact, and they save the planet from more islands of plastic bags congregating in the middle of our oceans. If you’re prone to forgetting to take your reusable bag with you, stick a small one in your purse or man purse so you have it with you at all times at your beckon call.
Launder By Hand
After a long day of mud wrestling, a particularly sandy day at the beach, or a sloppy night at the bar you may have an item or two which needs immediate laundering. If you don’t have a laundromat or machines at your disposal and are unable to wash efficiently in a full load anyway, we present to you a solution: launder by hand! Make sure your sink, tub, or bucket is clean, pour in some hot water and soap, and get to work. Wring well and air dry. This might prove challenging if you’re on the go every few days but wring dry as best as you can and stick item in front of a fire or a fan.
Less is more. You’ve heard that time and time again but is it really? Less bikini is often times more money. Smaller food proportions at fancy restaurants are more expensive. And less packaging on goods is better for the environment. Individually wrapped toilet paper rolls in a package of 6 is unnecessary and a waste of paper. Keep this in mind as you purchase goods — it’ll make a difference in the long run!
Most importantly, have an epic Spring Break and feel good that you’re doing your part to save the Earth! Captain Planet would be proud.