By Cynthia Deale • Western Regional Representative, Center for Sustainable Tourism
Editor’s note: This series of green living tips is provided by Sustainable Mountain Initiative, a Jackson County coalition of government officials and concerned citizens working together to lead the way toward a more sustainable future.
Nearly everyone in the world travels once in a while, even if only to visit relatives for a night or two. Regardless of whether you’re crossing oceans to see new places or visiting friends for an overnight stay, there are some things we can all do to make our travel “green” and to encourage sustainable tourism.
One significant decision we make when we travel is where we stay. Choosing “green” lodging accommodations is easy if you’ve done your research: check to see if the property offers recycling programs, allows guests the option to reuse towels and sheets, uses native plants in its landscaping, incorporates green building techniques or green cleaning products, and contributes to the local community.
Other decisions you can make to green up your travel include riding a bike rather than a car to sightsee in the area; eat at locally-owned restaurants, which often use nearly 100 percent locally produced foods; shop at local markets for products created by that area’s residents from native resources; support local events by attending festivals, fairs and fundraisers; and remember to slow down while traveling to truly take in the culture, history and depth of the places that you visit.