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Traveling Green

2009 March 19

About the author:  Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force.  Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

As the first droves of tourists arrive in the Washington, DC area, some of us are starting to make family vacation plans for the year. Many people are interested in “going local,” not only to cut travel costs but to reduce their carbon footprint as well. The Washington area offers many nearby vacationing opportunities where you can get away from it all while protecting the environment.

Increasingly, there are more vacation spots that are going green. Whether these sites emphasize nature trails and the great outdoors, you can select hotels and destinations that are truly green. In fact, there are numerous websites that rate environmentally friendly hotels in the US and worldwide.

Watersense label - meets EPA criteriaWhen we’re talking about green vacations, green practices goes beyond just using your towels and sheets for two or three days in a row or even turning off the lights and TV while you’re not in the room. These are good tips that apply whenever you’re traveling either for business or pleasure. Notwithstanding, a green hotel, for example, will use environmentally friendly practices such as water efficient fixtures and practices, energy efficient lighting and equipment, integrated pest management practices, to name a few.

Furthermore, you can explore other ways to reduce your carbon footprint while on vacation such as using public transportation or walking to the different sites whenever possible. So, as you start discussing your vacation plans with your family, take a moment or two to factor in some green options. Have a safe journey. Bon voyage!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Jessica E permalink
    March 24, 2009

    My family travels often, and, like many families, we view our vacation time as a time to indulge in ways we may not normally when at home. As such, we are not typically as willing to be as environmentally conscious on vacation as we are at home. However, after the emergence of new databases such as the ones listed above, my family has realized that we do not necessarily have to sacrifice our increased level of comfort while traveling for “green” behavior. One particular article we found helpful lists hotels that maintain great amenities and comforts while still meeting green certification standards:

  2. Used Car Dealers permalink
    March 25, 2009

    Probably everyone likes to travel towards green. It not only satisfies you but will surely give you the delighted experience also you will come closer to the nature.

  3. Lina-EPA permalink*
    March 25, 2009

    Jessica E–Thanks for the suggestions.

    It’s true that when we go on vacation we often are seeking freedom from our daily routines and constraints. Nonetheless, we still can go green in the process. I liked your recommended link. Here are some others:

  4. permalink
    February 28, 2014

    I would like to thank you for the efforts that you have made in writing this article.This is exactly what I need,Thanks a lot.Keep blogging.

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