Eco Conscious Spring Break Travel Tips

imagesSpring break fever is heating up and many of you may be preparing to head out of town to visit family and friends or just get away from it all. From commute choices to cleaning products to food and lodging, many destinations are offering pro-environmental choices that can be supported through singular conservation efforts or third party certifications. As you jet set out of town, consider the impact that your travels may have on the destination you’re headed to.

Sustainable tourism supports sustainable resource use and management in a wide variety of destinations. In 2014, travel and tourism contributed 9.8% of the world GDP supporting 277 million people in employment by providing 1 in 11 jobs on the planet. In Florida and around the world, there is an emphasis on standards to support water conservation, energy efficiency, waste management, and resource reduction.

There are a number of sites that can support your decisions to choose eco-friendly locations. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary program managed by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and provides an interactive mapping tool to locate green hotels/motels around the state. Check In Canada connects guests directly to green hotels that are endorsed by the Hotel Association of Canada. Third party programs offered by Audubon International, TripAdvisor GreenLeaderGreen Globe, Green Seal  and Global Sustainable Tourism Council are some examples of standards and products that are applied worldwide.

A “staycation” is another great option to explore your hometown or another one nearby while saving on hotel and transportation expenses. The rise of Airbnb offers some conveniences while these apps can provide some inspiring ways to support your eco-conscious travel: Green Globe, Zinio, and Locavore.

Although this article focused on lodging options, there are many ways to be an eco-conscious traveler. First and foremost, ensure that your personal habits while on vacation mirror your commitment to sustainability. Remember to turn off lights and fans, support local businesses, conserve water, and use public transport when possible. It’s easy to forget about these while on vacation but it’s important to be mindful of your impact on the local environment.

Happy Travels.

Resources

Environmental Protection Agency

University of Florida Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute

Patel College of Global Sustainability – Sustainable Tourism