Ottawa-Gatineau Travel: Tips For Travelling Sustainably - Reducing Consumption
Here are tips for Reducing Consumption on your sustainable and envionmentally concious vacation and business travel:
- Unplug Your Home or Office<BR>
Begin your eco-friendly trip by unplugging at home. Unplug any appliance that won't be in use while you're away such as computers, chargers, televisions, video game players, and microwaves. This can lower your power bill while you are away, by an average of 10%. Turn down your water heater, your air conditioning or heater thermostat. Also, stop your newspaper (many newspapers let you also re-direct it to a local school).
- Ask About Composting
Many hotels & restaurants have composting programs, which keep tons of organic waste, food scraps, and paper cartons with food residue, out of landfills. Composting converts that into organic humus mulch used to enhance soils in gardens and in agriculture.
- Lighten Your Luggage
Packing lightly will make it easier to get where you're going, so by wearing easy t-mix& match neutral-colored clothing, you can leave the extra shoes and clothes at home. Industry estimates that if e very traveller reduced their luggage by 5 kilograms (10 pounds),the industry will save 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year.
- Pack a Water Bottle
Over 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the US each day Adding up to 1.5 million barrels of oil over a year. A recent (2008) visitor to the Great Pyramids at Giza commented the entire plain was littered with discarded plastic water bottles from tourists. By recycling and reusing existing water bottles by refilling them with filtered water, travellers can reduce their impact.
If you don't have access to filtered water, consider a portable filtered water bottle or a reusable filter designed to fit in standard sport and water bottles. A good resource for a range of portable filter brands is www.waterfilters.net.
- Pack a Meal to Go
The average North American produces 2 kilograms of trash daily, and about a third of that is from food containers & packaging. When you travel, pack a reusable container, which you can clean and reuse the container to cut back on wrapping whenever possible. A US study estimated a child with a lunchbox saves landfills from 67 pounds of lunch waste over the course of a year. More information on packing waste-free lunches.
- Pack a Battery Charger
North Americans buy and dispose of nearly 3 billion dry-cell batteries containing lead, cadmium, nickel, and other heavy metals each year, which contaminate the air, ground, and/or water. Travellers should likewise use rechargeable batteries for all electronics and pack their battery charger to avoid harming the environment when & where they travel. Also, check your destination's power supply, in case you also need to pack a power converter."
- Pack the Right Gear
Wear environmentally friendly clothing & travel gear made from recycled, re-used, organic, and sustainable natural materials (like cotton, hemp, or bamboo). A handy accessory is a packs or bag with waterproof solar panels with a Li-lon battery pack to store energy to recharge your handheld electronic devices.
- Pack a Reusable Shopping Bag
Packing a basic canvas tote, or other similar sturdy, washable bag, in your luggage to keep plastic shopping bags out of landfills. These re-usable bags (made from organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, recycled cotton, and recycled PET) are rapidly becoming more popular across Canada, with the support of major grocery and retail chains, and have long been a standard for shoppers in Europe.
Single-use plastic bags end up littering roadways, and float in waterways killing sea turtles, jellyfish, waterfowl and even whales by entangling them or choking them when they mistake the bags for food.
- Take Pictures Digitally
Take photos instead of removing "souvenirs" from natural areas. Take photos with a digital camera, if possible instead of using disposable cameras which are very wasteful and expensive. If using a film camera, buy 36-picture rolls of film instead of smaller 12 or 24 picture rolls to reduce packaging waste (and save money, too!).
- Pack the Right Gear