Green Business Bureau

Green Business Certification

In today’s post we’ll be combining two things that we love: saving money and traveling green.  Recently, we highlighted a study that revealed that most Americans are not ready to pay the extra money for traveling green.  Well, we believe that the premise of this study is a little skewed, because there are plenty of ways to save money while still traveling more green.  Many travelers have this notion that traveling green means visiting eco-friendly locations.  While this is one element of traveling green, it’s certainly not the breadth of what traveling green entails.  Traveling green means doing everything you can while you travel to keep your carbon and waste footprint as light as possible.  Here are ten tips that help you save money and travel green at the same time.

  1. Pack a small, carry-on suitcase.  By packing lighter, you are reducing the weight of the airplane, which will effectively reduce the amount of emissions the plane exerts while in flight.  And if you carry on, you’ll avoid checked baggage fees that many airlines have adopted as a source of additional revenue.  I recently flew to Los Angeles and my bag was slightly too big to carry on, so United made me pay an extra $20 to check the bag, each way!
  2. Stay with friends, family, and acquaintances.  I don’t recommend this is you want to have a real vacation, but it’s a great thought for business travel if you’ll be in a city with a friend or family member that you can crash with.  You’ll save money on a hotel, and you’ll avoid all of the pitfalls in green travel by not staying in a hotel.  Hotels use an enormous amount of energy and resources each day, so skipping out on a hotel stay every now and then will help. 
  3. Use a Home Exchange Service.  It sounds weird to let a stranger stay in your home while you aren’t there, but if you have a nice house in an area desirable for tourists, you could equally find an upstanding couple willing to lend out their home in the mountains or on the beach for a week.  Again, the idea here is that you avoid staying in a hotel, plus you get the benefits of cooking meals and getting a feel for a local neighborhood. There are many home exchange services, just type in “home exchange” in Google, and find a reputable agency to help you make the deal.
  4. Bring a Water Bottle.  The re-usable water bottle should be a staple item for any green traveler.  Not only can you save a lot of money on drinks while you are traveling, you’ll help the environment by not throwing away a water bottle every few hours.
  5. Maintenance Your Car.  If you’re traveling by car, you’ll spend some extra money to maintenance your car before travel, but you’ll make that money back from the fuel savings.  Get an oil change, inflate your tires to proper pressure levels, change the air filter, and fill up the first time with premium octane fuel.  Your car will thank you by performing better and eating less gas.
  6. Travel With A Partner.  Do you travel a lot for business on the road?  Do you have other professionals and/or co-workers that drive similar routes as you?  Then, car pool together a few times.  You’ll be able to get work done while your partner is driving, and you’ll save money on gas.
  7. Use Public Transit.  If you are traveling to a big city with good public transit, don’t even think about renting a car.  When we backpacked in Europe, we used the rail systems in London, Paris, and Rome, and it was much quicker and much more efficient to use that rather than a cab or a rental car.
  8. Buy Toiletries In Bulk.  We all know that buying in bulk can save you money, but the containers toiletries come in are not travel friendly.  Instead of buying travel-sized bottles every time you travel, buy clear, re-usable travel bottles and fill them up with shampoo, body wash, hair gel, hair spray, etc.
  9. Turn The Air Up and Unplug Appliances While Away.  Don’t turn the air or furnace off while you’re gone.  in hot weather, you’ll run the risk of mold growing in your home, and in cold weather, your pipes could freeze up and burst.  But, you also don’t need it as low as if you were in your house, so kick it up or down a few notches, depending on the weather.  Appliances use energy when they are plugged into the wall, even if they aren’t turned on.  Unplug all of your stuff before you leave.  This will also protect your electronics and appliances if you live in an area prone to lightning strikes.
  10. Choose a Green Hotel. offers a sophisticated green score rating system to rate hotels based on how “green” they are.  They do the research for you, and all you need to do is decide on which hotel to make a reservation!

Source: Erik Folgate