It can be difficult to thoroughly enjoy a vacation when considering all the environmental impacts of traveling. For spring break, consider the following tips and suggestions to make any vacation more sustainable.
If traveling far, the environmental impacts of air travel can be quite harmful; however, some airlines offer an environmentally-conscious option for their flyers. Airlines such as Delta and United have programs that provide the opportunity to purchase a carbon offset with each ticket, depending on the class in which the passenger flies and the length of the trip. For example, a flight from Boston, MA to Portland, OR has a carbon offset of approximately $5 for an economy seat. These airlines team up with environmental organizations that use the $5 to literally offset the carbon emissions. For instance, Delta’s new partnership with the Nature Conservancy funds two main projects: one protecting the area near the Tensas River in Louisiana and another that purchases forests in Chile that would otherwise be cleared for land use. Cumulatively, these projects will keep 528,000 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, the equivalent of that produced by 59 million gallons of gasoline.
If planning a road trip this spring break, there are several ways to stay conscious of your wallet, as well as with your health and the environment. To cut spending on gas, the app GasBuddy compares gas prices and scouts out the lowest price in the area. For snacks and food stops, places like Chipotle or local cafes are ideal. Chipotle offers healthy and sustainable options like grass fed meats and produce often offered by local farmers. It’s also wise to avoid overly packaged and processed foods for snacks and opt for healthy, fulfilling options like avocados, apples, carrots and almonds. Also, instead of buying one plastic water bottle after another, buy a BPA-free water bottle that can be refilled.
Although there are many ways to stay sustainable when traveling, a stay-cation is ultimately the most environmentally-friendly way to enjoy break. In Ohio, there are several state and national parks to explore. Nearby Athens, Strouds Run State Park, filled with phenomenal views and amazing hiking trails, is ideal for a day trip, and is even close enough to bike to. A little farther away in Logan, there are many sites making up Hocking Hills State Park, with Old Man’s Cave being the most popular amongst locals. Ohio’s only national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is also worth the drive to Brecksville to experience its many waterfalls and trails for days of fun.
Whether staying close or flying far, stay mindful of the environmental impacts of the journey, and utilize these tips to stay sustainable over spring break.