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It’s Not Easy Being Green…

No, I’m not actually talking about Kermit, but he did say it best when he said “it’s not easy being green”…especially when you like to travel, and want to travel the world.

National Geographic just released the Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Travel and includes 50 tips for making travel greener. Suggestions such as packing your own water bottle instead of purchasing a disposable one, packing a snack in a reusable container and using that for packing leftovers while out (they even mention bento!), and bringing along a reusable shopping bag for your purchases all are things I already do, and I encourage everyone else who reads this to start.

They also talk a bit about overpacking. I’ll be the first to admit, I do have a tendency to overpack….BUT, I also generally use/wear everything I overpack. When I went to Canada, I packed bare minimums for the two months and I still had my bag weighing in at over 30 pounds. While I was in Canada I began to miss some of the items I neglected to pack – different shoes, a sweater, my favourite skirt – just to name a few. So for my next trip, I’m creating a packing list and I have 14 shirts on the list so far. I only took 8 with me to Canada (and the only shirt I didn’t wear a lot was my peasant blouse, and that’s not even on my UK list!). But 14 shirts isn’t really a lot, when you consider that I’m going away for 2 months and I’ll be gone partly for Fall (shorter sleeves) and partly in the Winter (long sleeves). I also need to pack two jackets – a Fall jacket and a Winter jacket. There are just some situations where you *need* to pack a lot of clothing. However, I do make sure I always stay within the weight guidelines of the airline I am flying on, and I only check my large suitcase that holds everything. When I’m going on a shorter trip, I usually pack enough shirts to have a clean shirt each day, plus one extra just in case.

However, I have learned my lesson for the next cruise I go on. I lived in the same denim skirt and capri pants the duration of the cruise (and visit to my cousins), only changing my shirt, yet I had packed at least 4 other options for my bottom half.

Another thing a lot of greening sites suggest is just not flying. Many green bloggers claim that flying completely eliminates all the greening efforts that you do at home. Now, I agree that flying is sort of silly for a short trip you can bus or take a train to unless you need to fly…but I think it’s really unreasonable to suggest people cease international travels or cross-country travel. That’s like saying to someone “don’t have a vacation”. I know the idea of a stay-at-home vacation (staycation) is becoming popular, but there are still people who enjoy traveling the globe. I see no reason to pile on the guilt because I’m flying across the Atlantic Ocean or flying across the United States when I do everything in my power to conserve and be green at home.

The National Geographic article has lots of other suggestions on ways to stay green while traveling, and I think it’s well worth reading over.

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