6 Tips for a Green Return Home
You’ve dined on native food, sampled local wine, and explored more museums and parks that you can count. Now your trip is over and it’s time to head home, but your job as a green traveler isn’t quite finished.
As you pack your bags and map your route, here are 6 things to remember to make the last leg of your trip as environmentally friendly as the others.
Ditch excess baggage.
Leave your clothes and anything else you won’t need behind, espcially after a long trip. This is especially true if you’re in a country where much of the population lives in poverty, but it’s good practice anywhere. Just about every country has an organization that will accept donations. When we headed out of St. Petersburg for the Trans-Siberian Railroad after our semester abroad, Elizabeth and I gave our extra clothes and shoes to the babushka who managed our dorm. And remember to apply the packing light rules to your return trip, too.
Flights without layovers burn fewer resources and are better for the environment. If you can find a direct flight in your price range, take it.
Let it lie.
If you took a rock from the woods or a shell from the beach as a free souvenir, put it back. (Better yet, don’t take it in the first place.) As a green traveler, you should strive to preserve the natural environment and leave things in better shape than they were when you got there. Leave the natural artifacts and find a sustainable souvenir instead
Follow the same environmentally-friendly practices you did when you were traveling around the city and take public transportation to the airport if you can.
With digital photos, you only have to develop what you need. Some of us get carried away and take 50 photos of a distant bird in the sky, only to realize later that we’ve captured a black dot against a massive blue backdrop. The beauty of digital photography is you don’t have to print all of the photos you take. What are the odds that anyone else is really going to want to see 15 pictures of that crumbling castle (even if it was really cool)?
Donate leftover currency.
There’s no reason to carry home coinage that you’ll likely never use. Many airports have donation boxes where you can give away your extra money. Otherwise, create some good travel karma – considering giving it to a fellow traveler on her way into the country.
This is the twenty-fourth post in Go Green Travel Green’s 25 Days to Green Travel series. You can see the complete list of articles in the 25 Days to Green Travel Index
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