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Lifestyle

Green Your Labor Day Vacation

Many of us are gearing up for the long holiday weekend away.  So it seems like a good time to review how we can put our best green effort forward when away from home, where it’s often more challenging to do so.

Whether you’re hitting the beach, camping or visiting old friends, it’s easy to let go of your good green habits when you have a change of scenery.  Just like our eating & drinking habits change on vacation, so can our eco-friendly intentions.

Here’s some things to keep in mind to lessen your carbon footprint this weekend or whenever you’re away from home:

  • Check out what recycling options your destination has before your arrival.  I’ve recently been disappointed with an Ocean City, MD hotel that didn’t provide any recycling bins.  (Instead, I carted the recyclables we used home.)  But it’s nice to know what to expect before you get there.  Plus, if you put forth the effort of letting your hotel or city know that eco-friendly options are something you look for when choosing a destination, they may be more inclined to make a change.
  • Once you reach your destination try to stay close by.  When traveling to tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels and other places –  Walk, ride a bike or check out what the areas has to offer for public transportation.
  • Buy the local fare. It’s better to choose food that’s used the least amount of energy getting to your plate.
  • If renting a car, choose a hybrid.  If no hybrids are available, go with the best fuel economy/the smallest car to fit your needs.
  • Before you leave your home for the weekend turn up your thermostat to the warmest temperature possible.  Don’t forget to check the room temperature at your destination (when you’re controlling it)  just because you aren’t footing the energy bill is not a good reason to be wasteful.
  • Pack reusable toiletry bottles instead of relying on hotel mini soap & shampoo bottles.  This way you can use your own preferred products easily again & again. If you prefer to purchase ‘new’ products- go for bulk (and recyclable) bottles to reduce packaging of smaller bottles. Or purchase a combination shampoo/conditioner to save an extra bottle.
  • If you’re feeling especially ambitous plan a family/friend clean-up.  This is an opportunity to catch up, get some exercise, enjoy the scenery….
  • Finally, one of my favorite “motto’s” leave everything better than you found it. It’s a good feeling knowing you took small strides towards a healthier environment.

Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean you need to go crazy and see how much litter you can carry  at once while on vacay (see photo below when I got a bit carried away on an impromptu Avalon , NJ clean-up…)

Posted by Beth

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Beth is a Health and Wellness expert who believes sustainability goes hand-in-hand with self care. She’s the girl whipping up kombucha cocktails at parties, and extolling the benefits of canning vegetables to anyone who will listen. View all posts by Beth Funari

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