Lighten Your Footprint When You Travel


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Today we have an article by Cliff Barre from the website Peace, Love, & Travel with Cliff & Tiff relaying some great tips on how to lighten your footprint when you travel!  Here he is…

Your carbon footprint, that is.  A little planning is all it takes to lessen your burden on the environment when you’re heading out for an adventure. Whether you’re flying, driving, or (hopefully) biking to your destination, these tips will help lessen your impact and possibly make your journey a little more fun.

Before you go

Plan on taking only one bag with you when you go.  You have the obvious benefit of not hauling around a lot of stuff, and your plane or car will also be carrying less weight.  Yes, you are only one person and relative to the weight of the plane, it isn’t much, but multiplied by every traveler the savings in fuel and to the environment will add up.  Research your destination and only bring what you need, not what you think you might want.

On the road

Wherever you are, make an effort to buy from local producers.  Not only are you supporting the community, you’re also saving the cost of transporting the goods over long distances. Plus, it’s a lot more fun to eat new things, and there’s a good chance that the local cuisine is very different from what you’re used to.  If you find you packed too lightly and need to grab a sweater, try to find something hand knit from a local farm.

Head somewhere green

Choose a destination that’s making an effort to be green.  Costa Rica, for example, is one of the top eco-friendly destinations in the world.  Not only are there a lot of good options for lodging and eating which have a low environmental impact, Costa Rica has some amazing things to do.  Enjoy some incredible hiking, visit rustic, rural communities, or get up close with a volcano!

If you aren’t planning on leaving the States, try Upstate New York.  The Finger Lakes region has pristine lakes and some great wineries.  A little closer to Syracuse, stop in at the world’s largest green shopping mall, Destiny USA.  A shopping mall is an unlikely candidate to be a green destination but it’s in fact LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and puts Upstate New York ahead of the pack when it comes to lowering its carbon footprint.


These ideas are easy and only require a little planning.  By packing carefully, and lightly, buying local, and taking some care when selecting your destination, you can wander with an easy mind, knowing your footprint is a little lighter than most people’s tread.

10 thoughts on “Lighten Your Footprint When You Travel

  1. Love the idea of picking up a sweater locally. Sometimes having to take warm clothes is the difference between a carry on and a full-sized suitcase. Even buying locally from a thrift shop is a good idea. Thanks for the post!

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  2. Excellent comments! By riding the bike, I use far less gas (okay, I’m just justifying things here), but I also stay at non-chain restaurants and eat at local, independent places. This doesn’t necessarily lighten the footprint … then again, maybe it does

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