Going on a summer vacation is something most people look forward to experiencing. Whether the trip involves staying close to home or going to explore a new place overseas, we can all take a few green practices with us as we enjoy our trips. In this two part series, you are going to learn about a couple ideas to make this year’s summer vacation a little greener.

camp-tent

Go camping:

If you are planning to stay close to home, camping is a great summer activity. It can take place in the woods, near the beach or even in your back yard. Camping brings you and your friends or family closer together while enjoying nature’s beauty. While on your camping trip remember to be responsible for the environment by keeping a couple of tips in mind. Keep the woods and the campsite clean and free of debris and litter—exactly the way you found it. There is no specific way or rule to go camping. Simply being entertained and relaxed by being outdoors while enjoying nature’s playground is all it takes.

eco-hotel

Lodge responsibly:

If you are planning to leave your hometown for a week or two to travel to an exciting destination, you will need a comfortable place to rest. With traveling comes lodging—choosing environmentally friendly accommodations can be accomplished with a little time and research. Green Hotels Association offers information about eco-friendly hotels in each state along with the efforts each hotel makes to be green.

According to wwf.Panda.org, there are plenty of hotels that offer “effective waste treatment systems that recycle, and are energy efficient.” These eco-friendly hotels also use environmentally safe energy sources such as solar energy and hydroelectric power. Hotels have also given their guests the option to skip washing their towels and sheets every day in order to save water and energy. According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, “the request reduces water, sewer, energy, and labor costs by 17 percent.”

simple-luggage

Pack simple items:

Traveling lightly encourages you to keep green habits while you are away from home. If at all possible, travel as lightly as you can. You can do so by wearing one pair of jeans instead of packing several pairs; packing quick dry fabrics that can be hand washed and hung out to dry overnight; and dressing in layers rather than wearing bulkier items. When dressing in layers you can also make more outfits for your trips by reusing those articles of clothing.

When traveling by flight, lighter baggage from passengers also helps reduce fuel emissions released into the environment by the airplane. An alternative to using travel size bottles and containers, found normally at pharmacies or drugstores, is using recycled items around the house such as an empty old spice container for liquids, lotions, and shampoos. Another great reason to pack lightly is because it helps dispose of less waste in the environment.