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  • How to plan an eco-friendly vacation

    Several decades ago, people would rise an eyebrow whenever someone would tell then about sustainable tourism. Fortunately, the travel industry has undergone some major changes in the latest years, resulting not only in more affordable rates, but also an increased awareness in everything regarding the environment.

    While airlines, hotels and restaurants altogether are progressively introducing greener policies, many tourists, despite their worries, are still confused about what is their role in this whole ‘save the planet’ affair. So here are few suggestion on how to have a nice and relaxing vacation while taking good care of the planet’s resources.

    Carefully plan your destination

    There are still lots of relatively unknown destinations around the world, where one could escape the pollution of the big cities and embrace the great outdoors (Some of the most popular green countries are Costa Rica, Croatia, India, Laos or Norway).

    Deciding to visit the countryside and choose a coquette bed&breakfast instead of a fancy hotel would be your first step towards responsible traveling. Make sure you take into consideration all your options before making the reservations: there are plenty of sites and directories on the web that can show you which are the greenest hostels.

    Green transportation

    Choosing a proper mean of transportation can considerably reduce your carbon footprint. For example, there is no use taking the plane for a short distance when you can choose a high speed train or some biodiesel fueled vehicle.

    If you have to rent a car, then try to get a hybrid: with the few extra bucks that you will pay per day, not only you will reduce your emissions, but you can also save some gas money. In case you are visiting a big city, use public transportation, a rented bike or your own feet to get around: I can assure you that you will see everything form a whole new perspective.

    Eco-friendly activities

    Choosing to to have an active vacation instead of resuming yourself to sightseeing and dinning out could only work in your advantage. In case you’re looking forward to try out the local cuisine, try to choose a restaurant that uses only organic ingredients or is family-owned, rather than a famous franchise.

    Try to avoid all the energy consuming activities and sports like speed boats, car races, motorcycle races or all the other extravagant activities like snow-skiing in summertime. In general, most sports that use the power of wind, water and sun have little if no impact on the environment: windsurfing, whitewater rafting, paragliding are just a few examples.

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    Encourage local producers

    Whenever you buy something during your trips, try to check the product’s origin and specification. If you want some fresh diary products, fruits or vegetables, it’s better to buy them from a farmer’s market rather than form the supermarket. Same rule applies for souvenirs: buying some home made artifacts will encourage the local economy.

    You will notice that even in the less developed countries, people from the rural areas are genuinely more eco-responsible than those living in the big cities.
    And one last and very important tip: whatever you do and wherever you go, don’t forget the three magic words: reduce, reuse, recycle!

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