Traveling can really enlarge your carbon footprint if you are not careful when choosing your mode of transportation and where you stay. If you have gone through the exerice of using a carbon calculator lately you will see how even a short plane trip will skyrocket your carbon footprint. Jet engines compared to other combustion engines kick out incredible amounts of CO2
In terms of lodging, finding a vacation rental is surprisingly easy. Today you can conveniently shop online and rent all sorts of vacation condos and homes around the global. Several businesses offer large nationwide and worldwide vacation rental home selections: VaCasa, Home Away, Owner Direct, Vacation Rental By Owner, and Bed N Breakfast. Home Away appears to have the largest online rental home database and has been busy gobbling-up similar databases over the last few years and now claims to have one million listings. One can quickly get lost with all the enticing options.
But finding an eco-friendly lodging option is still a challenge. There is one promising budding option, though. Green Vacation Houses is a promising site with plans to launch its database soon. Green Vacation Houses.com provides across-the-board green certification standards for vacation rental properties, empowering owners and renters to take a positive stand in preserving the health of their vacation environment.
There are a few simple rules to minimize the potential to serious damage your carbon footprint.
- “Right-fit” your lodging – no use having sprawling circular staircases, unused rooms
- Appropriately minimize your rental car size – economy cars are best in unfamiliar territory and tight spots – avoid the gas guzzlers
- Drive to the final destination, if practical – airplane exhaust is heavily saturated with CO2
and equates 2x or 3x that emitted by driving. Lifting our derrieres high up into the atmosphere has its environmental costs. Plus in terms of driving, if you are looking to rent, then you probably have a car full of fellow vacationers, making it even more environmentally smart to drive then fly.
As an environmentally conscious person, you will need to do a lot of the homework yourself. But according to Green Vacation Houses, there are some 3.3 million vacation rentals in the U.S alone – so there must be some green options out there.
So, next time you’re shopping and in contact with the owner or property manager try to determine if the home has any green features or green plans. Ask about the energy saving components of the house: lighting, energy saving appliances, or how its cleaned and with what chemicals and any of the other topics covered by Green Blizzard.
Let’s create consumer demand and persuade the industry to create a “green collection” of homes, similar to the Hertz Green Collection of rental cars.
Our editor’s choice of other Green Blizzard articles you’ll be sure to enjoy are: Save Energy With A Solar Pool Cover, Best Gifts For A Green Handyman, and Get Real And Finally Discard Those Incandescent Lightbulbs!.