Getting there(and staying there) the green way

When traveling, it’s all about the grab-and-go for the easiest, quickest and most convenient methods of keeping your belly full and your mind active until you arrive at your destination. Your coffee cup, water bottle and waste from quick meals can add up quickly, not to mention the carbon footprint of getting to and from the airport, train station or bus depot and the transportation itself. That being said, travel is part of our lives.


So what can you do?


Plan ahead for food and drinks. Traveling can make us hungry and with the price of food at most airports, additional costs, both energy and monetary, can really add up. Consider packing snacks in reusable plastic containers and ask that your favourite brew be poured into your reusable travel mug. Of course, reusable water bottle are a must for any trip, long or short, just be sure it’s empty before going through security at the airport.


Choose the best method of transportation. When planning your trip, try to choose the greenest travel option. Taking the train is usually the greenest mode of transportation, and taking the bus is a close second. Bonus – these methods are usually the cheapest too! While at your destination, consider carpooling, taking public transportation or riding a bike to sightsee.

However, sometimes you just can’t get around taking the plane. If that’s the case, then try to carpool or take public transportation to and from the airport and…


Consider purchasing carbon offsets. A carbon offset is a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions to make up for the emissions given off in transportation, or elsewhere. Carbon offsets come in the form of sources, such as planting trees and producing renewable energy, like solar and wind energy. They can be purchased through organizations such as Tree Canada, which is how the Energy Diet Challenge is offsetting the environmental impact of travel for the Challenge.


Treat your hotel room like your home. Even though you’re paying to stay in a hotel, there’s no reason to forget the energy-saving tips you apply at home. Things like taking shorter showers, unplugging electronics when not in use, turning the lights off when you leave and running the air conditioner as little as possible are important to keep in mind. You’ll have extra energy savings if you use your towels and sheets more than once.