Perhaps you're familiar with that old camper's philosophy: take only pictures, leave only footprints. It's a nice sentiment to live by. But whether you're gearing up for a backpacking trip through Nepal or a luxury resort vacation across the pond, chances are you're doing neither, because traveling abroad leaves a footprint, no matter how conscientious you are.
Luckily, reducing that footprint is becoming easier and easier as the hospitality industry turns their eye toward greening up travel. Of course, there is plenty you can do to help before you even arrive at your destination. For starters, consider exploring your own backyard. Forgoing that cross-continental plane ride and taking a local bike tour instead will save literally tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Camping is another option that, if done conscientiously, can be both extremely low impact and extremely rewarding; REI has some simple advice to minimize your camping impact.
But let's be realistic: sometimes you just want to hop on a plane during the dreary months and end up basking in the sun on a beach somewhere. That's not necessarily a bad thing; the less you move from destination to destination, the lower your impact is likely to be on the environment.
Just be sure to do a little legwork before you arrive so you can laze around guilt free: Environmentally Friendly Hotels rates thousands of hotels worldwide according to their green practices, allowing you to select accommodations that meet even your high green standard.
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