Today marks the 46th annual celebration of Earth Day and it has everyone here at Go Ahead thinking about how we can appreciate the world around us. Here are five ways that we can each do our part to make every day a little greener, both on our travels and at home.
Make local connections
Getting to know the local culture is one of the most rewarding ways to discover a new destination. There are countless opportunities to do this during a trip, from learning about sustainable farming practices at a coffee plantation on tour in Guatemala to enjoying dinner hosted by a Kiwi family in New Zealand. Shopping local is another great way to connect with the community you’re visiting. By searching out traditional handmade goods, you’re providing support for the artists and craftsmen who create them.
Appreciate natural beauty
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service, making it the perfect time to visit these pristine preserves. Take time to explore and marvel at the natural beauty of these protected landscapes, right in your own backyard. There are even ways to go a step further and support the environment during your visit. On one of our U.S. national parks tours, you can take part in a volunteering opportunity to help clean up and maintain the land.
Visit green cities
Did you know that the European Commission (the executive branch of the European Union) awards the title of European Green Capital to a different city each year? Stockholm, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Ljubljana (pictured above) have all been recognized recently for their commitment to improving both the environment and quality of life for citizens and travelers alike. Pay a visit to any of these urban centers to enjoy their plentiful green spaces and see their sustainability initiatives in action.
Explore by foot
Of course you’ll need to fly, drive or hop on a train to get to a faraway destination, but try out an alternate form of transportation once you arrive: your own two feet! Stretch your legs and stroll through your new surroundings. When you choose to walk through your destination, you’ll have the unique chance to soak up the scenery of a new city or get closer to nature. A Walking Tour is a great way to see Europe by foot—find the one that’s right for you here.
Be mindful of your energy use
Many of the small choices you make daily can have a big impact on our planet. Here are a few simple green tips to keep in mind both before, during and after your trip.
• Before you leave for a trip, make sure all of your appliances are turned off and unplugged so they don’t use extra energy while you’re traveling.
• Only take as many maps or brochures as you need while traveling, and be sure to recycle them rather than throw them in the trash.
• Turn off the lights when you leave a room, whether that’s at home or in a hotel on tour.
• To conserve water, turn it off while you’re brushing your teeth and keep your showers short.
Will you be celebrating Earth Day today? How do you stay green while traveling? Let us know in the comments section below.