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7 Tips for Sustainable Travel

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7 Tips for Sustainable Travel

At AquaGrove, we are all about sustainability, in all aspects of our operations. From our stand-alone aquaponic garden to solar power options, we know the importance of saving energy, time and resources and providing sustainable solutions that are earth-friendly and accessible in a variety of locations and climates.

With the holiday season comes vacations, and many of us will be taking to the road and skies for that much anticipated winter trip. And while you may not be able to pack up your AquaGrove for a week-long getaway, your commitment to sustainability can remain intact. Here are a few resources to help you turn your winter travels into sustainable travels:

1 – Ask Questions – Is your travel outfitter making efforts to run its operations in a sustainable manner? What are they doing in the realm of energy saving, conservation and reducing carbon emissions? Do they partner with or contribute a portion of proceeds to organizations and causes that support the environment and/or the local communities in which they operate? By asking the right questions, you may be surprised by how much a business does (or doesn’t do) to help the environment and local community.

2 – Board a Train or Bus – While flying gets you further in a shorter amount of time, trains and other land-based forms of transportation offer travel with less carbon emissions. Air travel, especially “short-haul” regional flights (< 300 miles), create the most carbon emissions per passenger mile of any mass transit option because of the high fuel consumption during takeoffs and landings. By comparison, trains can use 50% less fuel per passenger than planes for the same trips, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bus travel is an even eco-friendlier alternative, emitting less carbon dioxide than trains on short and long trips (Source: Small Business Trends). When possible, and you have the additional time to spare, opt for the earth-friendly options.

3 – Track Your Travel – It is possible to track your travel footprint to better understand your travel-based carbon emissions; this can be especially useful if your business has a large number of employees traveling throughout the year. By tracking your travel and the carbon emissions it creates, you can potentially gain better control over it. The Business Calculator on can help you quantify travel-based emissions. You might also choose to buy offsets, which invest in projects such as tree planting that take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

4 – Avoid Plastic – According to an article published by National Geographic, mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons.  Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons have become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. From the bags you use to travel to the water bottles that you carry, plastic can easily be avoided during your travel. Consider saying “no” to plastic and bringing reusable bags, bottles, utensils, and straws that can be used for multiple purposes throughout your journey.

5 – Choose the Right Resort - Aside from air travel, the resort or property where you stay can have a major impact in terms of energy use, food, and construction (LEED-certified). For this reason, check into the resort’s website for their stance on responsible travel and the environment. If they have made an investment in solar energy or earth-friendly initiatives, they will likely have information posted about it on their website. In addition to individual hotels, if you would prefer to search a number of properties, vendors and destinations that abide by certain sustainability standards, then visit the Global Sustainable Tourism Council; from there you can search for “eco-friendly resorts”.

6. Eat Locally – Eating locally is an effortless way to reduce carbon emissions that result from packaging and transportation of food. Additionally, eating from local sources has been reported to have health benefits. The main health benefit of locally grown food is that it's fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, and local food requires less time to make it from the farm to your table. Better quality soil and more sustainable farming practices typically mean better tasting, more nutritious produce. Depending on where you are traveling, there may be a number of farm-to-table restaurants in the area. A simple Google search can help you find the perfect and sustainable dining spot for you and your family. If eating in, consider local farmers’ markets and farm-stands. If shopping at a local market, look for the organic or locally sourced options. If you are going on a short or weekend trip, you can always prepare your meals in advance. AquaGrove harvests can provide all the greens and protein needed to prepare well-balanced meals for you to take on-the-go.

7. Cut Back on Hotel Amenities – OK, so by cutting back we don’t mean to not enjoy the hotel or resort where you are staying; instead, you can just be more conscious of how your use of the facility may impact the environment. Here are a few simple actions to get you started:

- Hang up towels – By keeping your towels off of the ground, you are showing hotel staff that they don’t need to be washed; reusing your towels saves water and energy.

- Use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign – By skipping a visit from the cleaning staff a day or two, you can reduce unnecessary washing of linens, vacuuming and the use of chemicals for cleaning. 

- Bring your own toiletries – While the small bottles of shampoo and lotion are convenient, they are usually plastic bottles that will go directly into the trash after use. Bringing your own reusable products and packaging will allow for one less single-use product to be sent to the landfill.

No matter where you are heading this holiday, the team at AquaGrove wishes you safe and sustainable travels. To learn about how you can take steps to live more sustainably through aquaponics, contact AquaGrove today.