It Isn’t Just About Camping: Go Green for Your Vacation

Eco-friendly ways to enjoy your leisure time

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Tiamo Resort is one luxe green option for vacation in the Bahamas. (© 2007 Progressive Earth Development)

It is no secret that tourism is big business. And according to the International Ecotourism Society (IES), if tourism were a country it would have the second largest economy in the world.

In 2020, global tourism is expected to reach $1.56 billion dollars in international revenues. More than 55 million U.S. travelers are classified as “geo-travelers” interested in nature, heritage, and culture, according to the IES.

Jeremy Archer and his wife, Carol Donawa-Archer, have decided to find their piece of the green travel market by greening their Harlem-based bed and breakfast, Sugar Hill Harlem Inn.

The duo decided to add solar panels in 2007 as a source of renewable energy for their business.

“Some travelers come to us because they like the beauty of our facility, while others do their research and come to us because we are eco-friendly,” says Archer, who hopes that more and more consumers will begin to lean toward green travel.

In addition to solar power, the bed and breakfast serves only organic food, fair trade coffee and tea, and uses all-natural cleaning products.

Whether you are hitting the road with friends, or exploring a resort with loved ones, there is always an eco-friendly alternative available. Here are a few things to consider before hitting the open road this summer and ways to be more mindful of your effect on the world:

Green Hotels: Think outside of the box when it comes to accommodations. Green hotels are properties that are environmentally friendly through waste management, energy, and water saving practices. San Francisco-based boutique hotel chain Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants runs eco-friendly accommodations through its EarthCare program, offering Earth-friendly products and services. The chain also cleans all guest rooms with all-natural, eco-friendly products, serving complimentary organic beverages, and introducing water and energy conservation efforts.

Fairmont Hotels is another green option, or you can visit Greenhotels.com to find a list of other green hotels and resorts around the world.

Eco-Friendly Transportation: Instead of leaving your car at the airport or train station while you travel, consider using Planettran.com, the nation’s first car service using hybrid vehicles. The company provides eco-friendly and cost effective alternatives to traditional car service, taxis or limousines. Consider renting a hybrid vehicle as your transportation of choice to sightsee.

Pack Light: Only bring the clothes and items that you will need, and leave the extras at home. Luggage adds weight to your mode of transportation, requiring increased levels of energy when using a car, according to Consciouslivingtv.com.  If flying is a must, you can visit Carbonfund.org to offset your carbon emissions when you return home.

Green Luxury: Going green can be just as beautiful as a five star resort, while less harmful simultaneously. The Fiji Islands Resorts, started by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famed explorer and author

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