Keep Your Carbon Footprint Small While Traveling

RelayRides blogger Nicholas Pell shares some simple tips for how anyone can keep their carbon footprint small while traveling

The green camper lives by an ethos of “leave no trace.” But not all travelers head out to the woods to get away from it all. Eco-traveling means a lot more than just cleaning up a campsite. Indeed, there are a number of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while traveling. Go ahead and rent a Prius, but don’t stop there. Here are some tips on how to go easy on the planet when seeing new sights.

Green travel isn’t as difficult as you think

Unplug the House

You might want to leave a light or two on when you travel. However, there are still ways for you to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling by powering down your home. Go through the house and unplug anything that doesn’t need to be plugged in while you’re gone. There’s no reason to have unused appliances plugged in while you’re on vacation.

Combine Your Efforts

If you’re hitting the road in a car, you can do more than just rent a hybrid car. You can also carpool on long road trips, just as you would on a daily commute. Traveling with others is more fun and saves money. It also reduces carbon emissions. Rather than two people making two separate car trips, you and a friend or family member can double up in a car and use half the dinosaur juice.

Go Green on the Road

Businesses are increasingly going green. Restaurants and hotels are no exception to that trend. Plan your trip to maximize green businesses while you hit the road. The Green Hotels Association will provide you with a list of places to rest your head en route and at your final destination. The Green Restaurant Association will help you plan where to eat with minimum impact on the planet.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The “three Rs” of the green movement are even more important when you’re on a road trip or you’ve just taken a transatlantic flight. Some quick tips toward implementing these on a trip include:

Reuse bath towels provided by the hotel. Hotels often have instructions telling you how to let housekeeping know if the towel should be laundered or not.

Reduce waste by not eating out of vending machines. In addition to being expensive and unhealthy, the food inside is individually packaged, creating far more waste than if you just went to a market and bought you own.

Recycle by keeping a trash bag in your car and hotel where you keep recyclable waste. Done in the same manner that you do this at home, you’ll be able to have the same impact on the road.

Rent a Hybrid Car or Electric Vehicle from RelayRides

One obvious way to reduce your carbon footprint is to rent a hybrid or electric vehicle from RelayRides peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace. Some recommendations for those looking to explore the future of transportation and protect the planet while they’re at it:

Derek’s Chevrolet, a Los Angeles electric vehicle for rent. Get up to 40 miles on the battery, then enjoy 37 miles per gallon.

Chris’s Lexus, a stylish hybrid car in Boston. The sun roof, adjustable back seats, iPhone USB audio input jack and GPS make this an ideal vehicle for road trips.

Prius! is a hybrid for rent in Washington, DC. Boasting low mileage for a car its age, this Beltway hybrid offers a GPS and audio input jack.

Andre’s Chevy Volt is fresh off the assembly line with a number of features for those seeking electric cars in San Francisco. On-Star equipped, the car can be unlocked with your phone. It also comes with XM-Sirius Radio included. Andre’s Volt is just one of many stylish and affordable electric and hybrid cars for rent San Francisco.

Carl’s Civic Hybrid in Chicago has an MP3 / phone charger and auxiliary cable included in the price, as well as iPass. Carl even leaves reusable groceries bags in his (otherwise empty) trunk.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint While Traveling

Your vacation shouldn’t be a vacation from your green lifestyle. Keep things green on the road by renting an electric vehicle or hybrid car in your city for your next road trip. This, combined with our other trips, will make your travel adventures as green as quotidian life.