Wednesday, March 18, 2009

eco-travel tips, quote of the day

-- Quote of the Day --

"To the Earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breates on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us. Let's be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven't got the power to destroy the planet - or save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves."
~ Michael Crighton of Jerassic Park

I struggled a bit with the quote of the day - as most of our readers are already aware, I make an effort to use quotes that are uplifting, inspiring or motivational... and this quote is a little on the darker side of things. However, Michael's "powerful rhythm" of crafting the words in this quote really strike a cord with me.

-- Conscious Travel Tips --

In these times of ecomomic strife and environmental concerns, it is no wonder that eco-tours, volunteer travel and stay-cations (staying at home or within their borders) are becoming more popular. JTB Corp., a leading Japanese travel agency, released results of its survey on environmental awareness while traveling. According to the results, 70 percent of respondents are conscious of eco-friendly activities on their trips. There are dozens of things the average individual can do to perpetuate this green travel movement.

When browsing the tourist stations, map or brochure racks refrain from taking too many brochures. Decide which ones you truly want to know more about and leave the rest where they are for others to enjoy. When you have read the materials that you have taken with you, consider leaving them in hotel or restaurant lobbies, waiting rooms or on one of their tables to extend life of product. If, for some reason the material was ruined, be sure that you do place them into the recycling system - it only becomes trash when we send it in the landfill.

Many hotels offer personal products in little baskets throughout their rooms. If you do consume some of these, take the container with you if there is anything left in it that is still useful, because the staff has to throw out anything that has been opened, even if it is barely used. In fact, some fancier hotels are obligated to remove the items whether they were used or not! So in this situation it may be wise to take them and donate them to a homeless shelter, where people can benefit from the smaller sized containers.

Those plastic cups in hotel rooms are both reusable and recyclable… however, you can easily prevent this waste by bringing a reusable cup with you. That same reusable cup can prevent a lot of take out drink containers from ending up at the landfill during any road trip.

Be sure to ask questions when traveling, such as whether the restaurant has environmentally friendly take out food containers & purchase local food or does the hotel use recycled content in their products, if there is in-house recycling available for guests, whether their restaurant employs organic recycling programs, or whether you can rent a hybrid car instead of a regular gas guzzler.

These kinds of actions will inspire businesses and fellow travelers to make more conscious decisions because they see interest in this movement towards positive change.

*Later on next week I'll offer more eco-travel tips on this blog :)

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