EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: As you travel this summer, make sure you’re using the same sustainable practices that you use when you’re at home. For example, continue conserving water, recycling and reusing even when you’re away.
Here are some sustainable tips to remember when you’re traveling this summer:
- Don’t litter.
- Don’t purchase illegal souvenirs or food produce.
- Don’t waste water in destinations that face water shortages.
- Don’t leave lights on.
- Don’t leave the air conditioning on in hotel rooms when you’re not in them. Most hotels have systems that are designed to quickly respond to make sure you’re comfortable when you return to your room.
- Don’t purchase mineral water in plastic water bottles when the hotel provides drinkable water.
- Don’t stand on coral reefs. It takes approximately one hundred years for one inch of coral to grow.
- Don’t disturbing wild animals by getting as close as possible for a better picture.
- Don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground.
- Don’t forget to recycle when offered the facilities to do so.
- Before you even leave for your vacation make sure you turn off and unplug any appliances, computers and TVs to avoid wasting energy while you’re away.
- Bring your own reusable bottle. According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the United States each day. Recycling or reusing those bottles instead would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for an entire day in 15 million households. Travelers can help by recycling and reusing existing water bottles, and refusing to purchase or accept new bottles; instead refilling a single bottle or other dishwasher-safe, reusable bottle with filtered water.
- Shut off the lights. When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights, television, and radio to save electricity. In the summer, close the blinds and/or curtains to reduce heat gain in the room. In the winter, open the blinds and/or curtains on sunny days to let in the sun’s warmth.
- Use the right gear. Choose environmentally friendly clothing and travel gear made from recycled, reused, organic, and sustainable natural materials such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
- Bring a reusable shopping bag. Packing a basic canvas tote, or other similar sturdy, washable bag, in your luggage is an easy way to help keep trash out of landfills and off roadsides, conserve energy, and protect marine life. Use the bag—instead of the paper or plastic bags provided by stores—to carry souvenirs and other purchases made during your trip.
More sustainable DO’s for your green vacation:
- Eat Local. Find local restaurants during your trip that source their foods from local farmers. You will get better tasting, fresher food and you’ll be supporting the environment at the same time. Visit the Eat Well Guide and search their extensive database to find local, sustainable and organic food at http://www.eatwellguide.org/.
- Buy Local. Buying keepsakes from local artists and businesses who have local products will give you something that is truly reminiscent of your vacation destination. But buying locally also supports a reduction of emissions because you aren’t purchasing an airbrushed t-shirt that shipped from some far away location.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Sustainable Table celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food. The program is home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada, and the critically-acclaimed, award-winning Meatrix movies – The Meatrix, The Meatrix II: Revolting and The Meatrix II½.