Eco-Friendly Tips for Holiday Travelers

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The Importance of Eco-Friendly Travels During the Holidays

Last year, AAA anticipated an increase in year-end holiday travel for the fifth consecutive year. Based on the fact that gas prices are continuing to fall, and most people are used to planning their winter holidays around the weather, there is no reason to believe holiday travel will not increase once again this year. Since we can probably expect to have close to 95-100 million people traveling during the 2014 year-end holiday season, travelers need to keep in mind how important it is to make their holiday travels eco-friendly.

Fuel Economy is Not the Only Way to Make a Difference

As FuelEconomy.gov states, there are many factors affecting fuel economy. Your habits relating to how you accelerate and brake, time spent idling, excessive speed, frequency of which you make short trips (as opposed to longer ones where your vehicle has time to warm up) and cold weather are only a few of the factors that may have a significant impact on the fuel economy of your vehicle.

By making minor adjustments, you are likely to see your fuel economy improve. Biofriendly Corporation’s Green Plus® liquid fuel catalyst has also been certified as a green way to not only increase fuel economy, but to help reduce harmful emissions and improve engine power as well.

Fuel economy is not the only way to make a difference, though. There are countless ways travelers can make their holidays travels more eco-friendly. From preparations steps you can take at home, to actions you can take en route, to those you can take while you are busy enjoying time with family and friends, each stage of your holiday travels can be made a little greener if you take the time to plan ahead.

Making Each Stage of Your Holiday Travels Green

The most effective (and simple) ways to make your travels during the holidays more eco-friendly is to do so in small doses, rather than attempting to big and do everything in one fail swoop. Each little step adds up, so in this case, a little really can go a long way.

  • Opt for environmentally-friendly lodging: Do your best to find hotels and lodging properties certified by Green Seal. If there are no green seal-certified hotels near your intended destination, check with local hotels to find out which ones use eco-friendly cleaning supplies, have energy and water-saving practices in place, are focused on conservation, recycle and more.
  • Green your choice of transportation: When traveling over the holidays, you should seek to find the most eco-friendly form of transportation to get you where you need to go. If you can use trains, buses or other forms of public transportation, do so. When renting a car, choose an electric or hybrid vehicle. Should your holiday travels require you fly, some airlines (like United and Virgin Australia) have carbon offset programs travelers can use to offset their travels.
  • Pack light: Whether you are traveling by car, bus, train or airplane, it is always better to pack light. Remove items you do not really need. More weight requires more fuel, thus more harmful emissions.
  • Unplug and turn off before you go: There is no need to keep certain appliances, lamps and electronics plugged in while you are away. Doing so is simply wasting energy and money. Even when turned off, many electronics will continue to siphon energy so long as they are plugged in. You should also turn down your home’s thermostat and water heater. There is no reason to keep these running while you are gone.
  • Eat local when eating out: If there are restaurants near where you are planning to stay, check them out. Eating local is not only good for the local economy, it is also a good way to reduce harmful emissions. In most major cities, local eateries can be accessed by public transportation or your own two feet.

In among all the holiday activities you have planned. Following the above tips can make your holiday travels a lot more eco-friendly. It doesn’t take much time or effort, but it can make a major difference.

Colonial Inn image by Mass Travel and Christmas tree with red ornament image by Erik Larson via Flickr Creative Commons license.

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