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Fri12192014

Living Green

What Makes an Eco-Friendly Traveler?

By Sandy Moore

Rarely do we devalue the merits of travel; it broadens the mind, sharpens the senses and diversifies the palate. But of course, getting from A to B and back doesn’t come without some advisable precautions – particularly when it comes to the environment. Since long distance travel can be an inherently wasteful process, we should all put a bit of effort into preventing its strain on Mother Nature.

Here’s the good news: Eco-friendly travel isn’t nearly as laborious a philosophy as it might sound. You don’t have to rework your itinerary or subject yourself to uncomfortable conditions. In fact, most of what you do simply focuses on how you’re spending your money. Here are three near essential purchases you should consider:

  • Toiletries. No matter where you’re travelling, hygiene is important. In some cases, it’s particularly important to take proper hygienic care so that you aren’t exposed to disease or bacteria indigenous to the area. Luckily, there are a slew of Eco-friendly products that clean and floss just as efficiently as their traditional counterparts. Burt’s Bees products, organic toothpastes and reusable make-up removers are all good things to look into.
  • Batteries. Whether they’re for powering your camera, alarm clock or any other portable device, batteries are a globetrotter’s trustiest companion. That said disposable batteries are harmful to the environment for most of their lifecycle, from creation to their eventual discarding. Rechargeable batteries, however, aren’t as harsh. Keep an eye out for batteries that you can charge via USB port or traditional outlet.
  • Luggage. Luggage can be big, burdensome and expensive when you’re travelling miles at a time. One of the best ways to control your environmental impact is by reusing old luggage bags or buying a vintage style from a thrift store. They’re not eco-friendly products in the way you might be thinking of, but reused bags are great in the way they dissuade travellers from purchasing new. It’s vital to reduce, reuse and recycle every step of your journey.

As for on-the-go behavior, green travelers are characterized by their mode of transport and reverence for the land around them. Naturally, there are some places that simply require air travel to reach, and it’s impossible to encounter some carbon emissions along the way. However, once you get to your destination, try doing some on-foot sightseeing. Or, if you’re really looking to immerse yourself, try navigating the public transit system (but stay within your limits – no need to do anything you’re uncomfortable with).

In truth, being an earth conscious traveler isn’t rocket science. Be smart about what you purchase, and keep your gas guzzling to a minimum. Thanks for the consideration!

Sandy Moore is a freelancer and Blogger at PennsylvaniaEnergy.org. In his infrequent spare time, he enjoys woodworking, rock climbing and anything truly outdoorsy.



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