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Five tips to enjoy a ‘green’ vacation

Spring break time is just weeks away, and millions of Americans are dreaming of beaches, amusement parks, nice hotels and fancy meals. But many vacationers don’t just dream about the fun stuff when planning their vacation — they also consider the cost to the environment.

After all, there are many environmental factors involved in vacation. Here are five tips to help conserve resources on a vacation:

1) Consider alternative forms of transportation. Flying has a large carbon footprint. If Amtrak goes where you want to go, for example, you can save some serious carbon. If you must drive, your per-person carbon footprint drops with every additional rider. To compare different forms of transportation, type in your details in this handy CO2 emissions calculator:

http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/JourneyPlanning/JourneyEmissionsCompare.aspx?repeatingloop=Y

2) Choose your hotel wisely. Many hotels have adopted green standards, such as installing low-flow bathroom fixtures, making recycling easier for guests, and reducing chemical cleaner use. The New Orleans Intercontinental started a recycling program and asked staff to separate recyclables from the waste stream; not only did this reduce the waste, but each month employees have been finding $1,000 worth of hotel property — spoons, towels, etc. — in the trash! The Green Hotels Association maintains a list of members here: http://greenhotels.com/members.php

NOTE: We will post the last 3 tips tomorrow.


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