Lowering Your Environmental Impact Over the Holidays

Lowering Your Environmental Impact Over the Holidays

Image by by Oran Viriyincy (via Flickr)

If you haven’t already nailed down your holiday plans, you might want to consider a few factors which may help you lower your environmental impact over the holidays.  First is to decide whether you are interested in eco-friendly travel or responsible travel. And do you know what the difference is?  GoGreenTravelGreen.com has a simple article on the difference and it’s definitely something to consider before making your holiday plans.

Another thing to factor in is how you are going to get to your intended destination.  Fly? Drive? Take the train? Or are you one of many millions who are going to stay at home over the holidays?  Whether it’s for financial, personal or other reasons, your decision should factor in the environmental impact as well.  Here’s a tip from MotherNatureNetwork on “What’s the most low-impact way to travel to my in-laws’ over the holiday?

Image by ricardo-pereira

Image by ricardo-pereira

If you are going to travel, fly for example, and the city you are flying into or out of has a “Climate Passport Program” like the city of San Francisco, then I guess you could feel better about offsetting your travel by using one of these.  However, if you have a lower-emission way of traveling, I’d suggest checking it out.  For instance, try renting a car.  Enterprise, National and Alamo boast of having the world’s largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles. Their Keys to Green site states they have:

…approximately 448,000 vehicles that average a highway fuel efficiency rating of at least 28 mpg and more than 229,000 that average 32 mpg or better.”

Here are also a few other tips that can help lower your CO2 emissions while driving.

Now, where are you going to stay?  Of course one of the simplest answers is to stay with the relatives and/or friends you are going to visit.   If that isn’t an option for you then check out GreenHotels.com and see if you can find a “green” hotel in your destination city.  If you can’t find a green hotel, then use simple logic when you are in your hotel room….don’t waste water, turn off the lights when you don’t need them on, follow the hotel’s “conservation tips” when it comes to getting your sheets/towels laundered, etc.  Just because you aren’t “paying” for the utilities in your room, doesn’t mean you need to waste them.

My final tip is if you do travel, try and cut down your environmental impact in the city you are visiting by walking whenever/wherever you can, taking public transportation, eating local and of course buying local…give back to the community.


  • Stephanie

    There’s no time like the holidays to keep your carbon footprint in mind. With consumption and travel at an all-time high, small daily decisions you make can minimize the environmental impact of your celebrations. 🙂

    Great tips!

    • Tara

      Thanks Steph! Totally agreed…sometimes people tend to go overboard during the holidays rather than being a little (or a lot) more aware of their consumption, etc.

  • Kimberly @ GGTG

    Thanks for the link! Glad you liked our article about responsible vs. eco-friendly travel.

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