The Ultimate Guide to Green Travel for 2020

You’ve hopped out of the car and you’re ready to start an adventure in a brand new city. The intriguing place warmly welcomes you to explore and discover its offerings — it’s only right to respect it as if it were your own home.

Younger generations want to change the way we travel. In fact, 56% of Gen Z says they would enjoy staying in eco-friendly accommodations. They’re passionate about putting a spin on the golden rule — treat all places the way you want your home to be treated. Green travel is a hot trend you can’t skip out on. It’s rad to consider the wellbeing of Mother Earth and other cultures as part of your travel habits. Follow our extensive guide to start incorporating green travel into your itinerary.

What Is Green Travel?

Also known as “sustainable travel” or “eco-friendly travel,” green travel refers to practicing responsible and sustainable travel habits. Green travel involves staying conscious of your impact on the environment, social livelihood and economic well-being of the destinations you visit. Since traveling takes a toll on the places we explore, strive to minimize your carbon footprint and respect other cultures.

With green travel, you’ll find purpose in each milestone of your journey.

Why Is Green Travel Important?

With global travel becoming more accessible for everyone, carbon and other chemical pollution is increasing.

green travel statistics

In a recent study covering carbon emissions, it was found that 8% of emissions is directly caused by global tourism. This number isn’t predicted to plateau — in fact, it’s predicted to increase annually by 4%. The largest contributors to carbon emissions are transportation, shopping and food — all travel practices you can change to have a positive impact.

You often hear about carbon emissions, but do you know the effects on the environment? Carbon monoxide increases greenhouse gases, which are linked to negative health effects (such as chest pain, heart disease and grogginess) and global warming. Global warming negatively impacts ecosystems, increasing storm activity and harming natural habitats as a result.

Physical Impacts

There are physical impacts of tourism as well. One major tourist activity that destroys natural habitats is cruises. There are 109 countries with coral reefs and in 90 of them, reefs are being destroyed by cruise ship anchors, sewage, tourist activities, and use of reefs in commercial sale. Reefs are important to ecosystems since they serve as breeding and feeding grounds for many marine life species. Without reefs, the livelihoods of people in entire countries would disappear since marine life (that lives off reefs’ offerings) is a staple to their country’s diets and occupations.

If you’re planning to go on a cruise, keep in mind that Caribbean cruises are estimated to produce over 70,000 tons of waste per year. Cruise ships are not required to report the waste they dump in the ocean or even require a permit to do so. Much of this waste is found in natural habitats. Not all waste decomposes, and when it rots, it releases methane gas into the air, which contributes to the greenhouse effect — making the planet hotter.

Consider alternatives to hotels when booking travel. Hotel chains are powerhouses for unnecessarily using up water, producing excessive waste and practicing business inefficiently. In some countries, guests can use 10 times as much water as a local resident daily. Plus, hotels are estimated to use 36,500 to 73,000 gallons of water per room annually.

Observing the consequences of tourism will open your mind to green travel and motivate you to think twice about your tourism habits. We highly encourage you to research the effects of your travel plans.

When Does a Company Offer Eco-Friendly Options?

Create your itinerary with eco-friendly options. If you’re not sure what to look for, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We’ve listed below some of the major certifications to guarantee you’re traveling green.

  • LEED certification: One of the best certifications for estimating how environmentally friendly your hotel is.
  • International Air Transport Association: Offers carbon offset flight options which help passengers neutralize their portion of a plane’s carbon emissions.
  • Green Globe certification: Awarded to any eco-friendly business across all industries. The standard criteria must match their expectations in categories such as sustainability, as well as social, economic and environmental practices.
  • Rainforest Alliance: Awarded to tourism businesses that conduct services in compliance with sustainable practices.
  • EarthCheck (AUS): A similar certification to the one above, EarthCheck ensures a business is “delivering clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travelers to visit.”
  • Tourism Cares: Their mission is to assist the travel industry’s social impact to help the cultures of heavily traveled destinations thrive.
  • Green Seal: Provides a certification denoting that the product or service is created or conducted via safe, green practices.

Green Transportation Tips

Transportation is the number one contributor to carbon pollution while traveling. Minimize emissions by thinking twice about your transportation plans.

people talking about eco-friendly transportation

  1. Travel in groups. If you plan on meeting others, see if there is a way to travel together. You’ll use less gas while also creating memories with others. The more the merrier, for you and the planet!
  2. Book non-stop flights. Revving up and slowing down the engines creates the most carbon emissions.
  3. Rent hybrid or electric vehicles. Feel less guilty and decrease your emissions by renting an electric vehicle instead! A typical passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
  4. Use electronic tickets. This is a win-win all around because you’ll have less to carry and you’ll produce less waste. Paper represents 16% of solid landfill waste in the US.
  5. Research before you travel. Educate yourself on the culture you’ll be visiting because green travel requires traveling responsibly. Treat another person’s home like your own. Research what you can do to bring a positive change to the new environment.
  6. Avoid traffic-filled cities. Traffic increases fuel consumption and carbon emissions. There is also increased exposure to harmful gasses for those stuck in traffic.

Tips for Practicing Green Habits at Hotels

It’s easy to pick up a vacation mentality and let go of all responsibilities. We encourage you to relax but also be mindful of how your actions affect the places you visit.

hotel recycling

  1. Stay at local bed and breakfast establishments. Local hospitality produces much less waste than a hotel chain. Plus, you’ll support the local economy versus a global corporation.
  2. Ask the front desk about the hotel’s recycling program. Make sure you recycle properly by knowing the hotel’s recycling process. If the hotel hasn’t established a program yet, encourage them to do so.
  3. Bring your own toiletries. Some hotel chains throw away single-use toiletries after one guest. In case you forget to bring your own, take home the shampoo and conditioner bottles to use on your next trip.
  4. Leave guide books you collect for future guests. As we mentioned before, paper is a huge contributor to solid waste. If you find an interesting guide, leave it for the next guest to use.
  5. Stay conscious of A/C or heater use. Residential air-conditioners alone release 100 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from using up energy and releasing hot air.
  6. Unplug appliances when not in use. All plugged in electric appliances bleed some energy called “standby” electricity loss. This includes chargers, wireless phones, cable boxes, kitchen appliances, etc.
  7. Opt-out of cleaning services. Leave the “do not disturb” sign on your door. Skipping cleaning services avoids using unnecessary energy by passing on rewashing your sheets and vacuuming. Plus it cuts chemical cleansing agents that negatively impact air quality.

Water-Saving Travel Tips

Water seems to magically appear from faucets, but when you look behind the scenes, you realize the amount of energy water uses to arrive at your faucet. If your personal water usage is excessive, it affects the 663 million people who don’t have access to clean, reliable water.

people getting clean water

  1. Avoid using the hotel’s laundry facilities. Hotels wash every guest’s laundry separately and a typical washer uses anywhere from 15 to 45 gallons per load.
  2. Stick to showers. Showers take ~17 gallons of water per use, whereas baths use a whopping 70 gallons of water.
  3. Hang up your towels to signal you’re reusing them. As we mentioned, hotels wash guest’s laundry separately. Signal you’re still using your towels by hanging them up. You don’t wash your towel after every shower at home, so why would it be different in a hotel?
  4. Carry a reusable water bottle. You won’t waste water and you’ll avoid unnecessary plastic use. 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded every second in the US.
  5. Only flush the toilet for business. Some of us have a bad habit of flushing tissues and other small trash items down the toilet. Flushing uses two to seven gallons of water at a time.
  6. When using the sink, don’t use high pressure. Avoid turning the sink knob all the way up and don’t leave it running while grooming.
  7. Go for seconds instead of piling up your plate. Food waste is the number one contributor to water waste in hotels. Rather than fill up your plate only to realize you’re too full, take smaller amounts and go for seconds as needed. Agriculture accounts for 70% of the water used globally.

Tips for Shopping + Eating More Sustainably

Waste affects people and the environment. Hazardous waste takes a toll on human health and exhibits ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity towards the environment. By shopping and eating with an eco-conscious mentality, you can combat the negative effects of waste.

scuba diver in polluted ocean

  1. Shop at local farmer’s markets. Supporting the local economy encourages gratitude for the new culture you’re visiting. This provides jobs for and feeds local residents.
  2. Eat at locally-sourced restaurants. You’ll be eating healthier at locally sourced restaurants and restaurants that source their ingredients responsibly use less waste in the process.
  3. Avoid all plastic wrappers, bags and bottles. Pack a reusable shopping bag and avoid other plastic wrappers by bringing reusable packaging. Plastic pollution affects the land, waterways and oceans. Plus, 91% of plastic isn’t recycled.
  4. Cook your own road trip meals. You’ll be eating cleaner for your gut and the environment by cooking for yourself. An average restaurant produces 100,000 pounds of garbage per year.
  5. Avoid purchasing items that are made from or tested on animals. This is immoral and takes a toll on wildlife. Look for the phrase “This product has not been tested on animals” along the product to check or research the product to double check.
  6. Learn what labels to look for. When shopping, spot the certifications that indicate a product was responsibly made. Research before your travels what common responsible green certifications look like in the city you’re about to visit.

Eco-Friendly Activity Tips

We recommend eco-friendly activities in nature. Being in nature has benefits such as reduced anger, fear and stress. Getting outdoors is good for Mother Nature and your mental health.

woman selling sustainable products

  1. Skip commercialized tour companies. Mass tours are usually conducted irresponsibly and without a green travel mentality. It’s estimated that only 5% of a commercialized tour company’s profit goes back to the local city. There are tours that act eco-consciously. Community-based tourism is the most sustainable.
  2. Be mindful when booking hands-on encounters with wild animals. Some of this industry takes part in illegal captures and doesn’t properly care for wild animals.
  3. Scuba dive with operators that don’t chum the water. Chumming the water involves dumping bait in the waters to attract fish — this changes the behavior of marine animals, leading them to feel sick.
  4. #OptOutside. Discovering the great outdoors in a new place is the best way to show your appreciation and avoid unnecessary energy and waste. Check for nearby hot springs or waterfalls to refresh your mind.
  5. Stay on the path. Trampling causes loss of ground cover, decrease in air and water permeability, loss of biodiversity and other negative impacts.
  6. Volunteer locally. Leave where you travel in a better state than when you arrived. Whether this involves assisting those in need or cleaning up the environment, you’ll leave a positive and lasting impact.
  7. Use eco-friendly sunscreens. Regular sunscreens contain toxic and potent chemicals that rub off when swimming, affecting ocean wildlife and natural habitats.

Certified Eco-Friendly Travel Resources

If you’re looking to book a trip soon, we encourage you to use the resources below to create your travel itinerary. You’ll do the world and yourself a favor.

Additional Green Travel Resources

Remember the golden rule of green travel — treat all destinations the way you want your home to be treated. Green travel means staying conscious of your decisions on the go and acting in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible manner in the communities you visit. With tweaks to your regular travel routine, you’ll be traveling green in no time.

We hope this guide motivates you to complete your civic duty as a guest in a new city — and gives you peace of mind when renting a car in your destination.

Cities need to change for people to thrive amid a changing climate

Source: Green Biz

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In the 21st century, a seemingly global prosperity masks an unequal distribution of benefits. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world’s cities, where extreme wealth can exist next door to concentrated poverty. In some cities, such as those in South Africa, well-meaning policies and investments in transit and housing actually have deepened the inequality and segregation experienced by low-income communities.

How does climate change fit into this picture? Leading urban experts think that the current path of cities far exceeds planetary boundaries of what is sustainable. In turn, climate change, one result of carbon-fueled growth over the last two centuries, is also a driver of urban inequality.

By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people could be living in cities. As more people move to cities, they face rising housing prices, unequal access to employment opportunities and public amenities, and they also contend with the weather extremes of a changing climate. The result is deeply unfair: those who have contributed and benefited least from carbon-fueled growth are its frontline victims. Low-income groups are disproportionately affected, as they are more likely to live in less robust homes and be in the path of natural hazards such as floods and heat waves — not to mention, they have fewer resources available to respond when disaster does strike.

Projections by the world’s leading scientists say future cities need to have a near-zero-carbon footprint, eliminate their reliance on fossil fuels and be able to manage weather extremes such as heavy rains and heat waves. They also need to find ways to lift up already vulnerable and marginalized groups. What does this future city look like? Sadly, our collective imagination is failing us.

Brave new worlds

As we begin the most important decade for climate action yet, cities need to tackle climate change and the continued growth and stubborn persistence of urban inequality (PDF) together. This is a major, immediate and unprecedented transformation, changing almost everything about the way we live in, build and power our cities. We must do it in ways that don’t exacerbate existing inequalities and find ways to leave no one behind. And we need to do it fast.

There are plenty of pop culture tropes of a dystopian future, ravaged by climate change. As Hollywood’s new supervillain, climate change is a common apocalyptic backdrop in science fiction. And there is good reason, as destructive bushfires, floods and heat waves are no longer just the stuff of fiction.

There are far fewer sunny versions of what cities of the future might be like. We do find stories about optimistic, technology-driven lives enhanced by automation in the renderings of architecture studios and engineering firms, cities where the sky is always blue. And we are nudged to imagine ourselves living in glass-and-steel high-rises covered with plant life or solar panels, delivered by self-driving cars, and directed by artificial intelligence.

While these may seem appealing solutions, the sanitized version of the city they portray is difficult to reconcile with the much messier reality of most cities across the globe. More than 1.2 billion people (PDF) — one in three people in cities — live in informal settlements today. Have we solved their plight in this gleaming future?

Often left underexamined in fiction and life is the close relationship between climate change and inclusiveness. But they are interrelated challenges that must be tackled together. If not, fundamental problems around access, informality and affordability remain unaddressed. The sustainability of one “smart city,” for example, can entail environmental degradation and social exploitation in another part of the world, as is the case with the mining of raw materials that go into making smart sensors, or the labor practices employed in the construction of some new eco-cities.

Sparking inspiration

Ideas can be powerful drivers of transformation, but few mainstream storylines about living with climate change offer inspiration for what the future might look like and how we will get there. A lack of vision hinders our capacity for urban change. We need more approaches that lie somewhere between the noir dystopias and blue-sky renderings and help broaden the outlook on what it means to live and thrive in a climate-changed future city.

Insiders in the urban field have recognized this problem for a while. Negative trends, such as increasing air pollution, rising living costs, traffic congestion and inequality, indicate a widening implementation gap between what’s happening on the ground and ambitious commitments made at international levels, such as the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. While there is widespread agreement that radical transformations are needed, numerous studies find little evidence of radical changes actually happening in cities. Experts think this is because cities are complex systems and urbanization cannot be easily steered.

That’s why the WRI Ross Center Prize for Cities is focusing this year on inviting submissions from initiatives that show how to live and thrive in a changing world by tackling both the climate crisis and urban inequality together. Through this global award, which celebrates transformative urban change, we will identify the leaders in urban transformation and amplify lessons learned so other cities can follow their lead.

The 2020-2021 Prize for Cities theme recognizes the year and decade ahead as pivotal for global climate action and seeks to help bridge the gap between fiction and reality and grow a much-needed repertoire of credible urban interventions and projects. As in its inaugural cycle, which received almost 200 submissions from across the globe, we hope the prize will broaden our understanding of what positive urban transformation looks like, how it comes about and how we can identify and nurture the seeds of change.

Happy Birthday (and Valentines) Oregon…18 Facts on our Lovely State


Happy birthday, Oregon! Here are 18 facts you may not know about the Beaver State.

1

Oregon was founded on Feb. 14, 1859. It was the 33rd state admitted into the union, and in 1860 was home to over 54,000 residents. Today, around 4 million people call Oregon home. Only 10 Oregonians call the town of Greenhorn home.

2

Hey! Thanks for talking about Oregon. Just remember, it’s pronounced OR-uh-gun. Not OR-ee-gone. Extra credit, that river dividing Oregon’s largest cities is pronounced will-AM-it and the street next to Burnside Street in Portland is pronounced COOCH (rhymes with mooch).

3

Oregon is home to Sagebrush sandals that are 10,000 years old. That’s older than the pyramids, the first-known wheel and written language. The archaeologist who uncovered them, Luther Cressman, was the former husband of famed sociologist Margret Mead.

Learn more about Oregon’s Father of Archaeology.

Luther Cressman, Quest for First People

4

Astoria, Oregon, is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. It celebrated its bicentennial in 2011. It was also the location for the filming of The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop.

5

Thomas Jefferson hoped Astoria could one day be the seed of a separate West Coast democracy. He and industrialist Jacob Astor set forth an ambitious plan to make it a global trading hub.

Adventure writer Peter Stark wrote a book about the history of Astoria. OPB’s Think Out Loud invited him on the show to talk about it.

6

When enacted in 1859, Oregon was the only state in the union to have an exclusion clause prohibiting African Americans from living or owning property here. The law was removed from the state constitution in 1926. The ripples of the state’s racist history are still felt today, particularly in Oregon’s largest city.

Oregon Experience’s Lift Ev’ry Voice explores Portland’s African American history with a focus on the turbulent 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s.

Portland Civil Rights: Lift Ev’ry Voice

7

Oregon women had the right to vote eight years before it was the national law. Oregon Experience’s The Suffragists looks at the the state’s suffrage movement at the turn of the century.

They came from different backgrounds, and often had different agendas. But the diversity of the movement allowed more women to become engaged in their own communities. Their experiences empowered them as they gained valuable experience in leadership, politics and civic involvement.

The Suffragists

8

Darcelle hosts the longest running drag-show on the West Coast. Darcelle XV Showplace in downtown Portland has been entertaining crowds since 1967.

9

With a maximum depth of 1,949 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States. It’s also the state’s only national park.

Oregon Field Guide tagged along with recreational divers who jumped into the collapsed volcano to see mysterious moss growing around Wizard Island.

Diving Crater Lake

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10

Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America.

11 & 12

Portland has both the largest independent new and used bookstore (Powell’s City of Books) and smallest city park (Mill Ends Park) in the world.

In 2013, someone stole the only tree from the park. It was replaced a few days later with a Douglas Fir sapling, at the steep price tag of $3.25.

13

Courtney Love met Kurt Cobain Jan. 12, 1990 at the legendary Portland underground club The Satyricon. The two wrestled on the floor and Cobain gave Love a sticker of Chim Chim from Speed Racer.

Here’s a muddy recording of Nirvana’s set that night:

14

Oregon had the only state-sponsored rock festival in United States history, Vortex I. It was an elaborate ploy to lure young people away from Portland during a planned visit by President Richard Nixon.

Vortex I

15

Springfield, Oregon, is the inspiration for the fictitious Springfield in animated series The Simpsons. This is not up for debate, Massachusetts, Illinois, etc.

16

McMinnville, Oregon, is the resting place of the Spruce Goose, the largest airplane ever constructed. It is made entirely of wood, designed by Howard Hughes and only flew once.

17

Lebanon, Oregon, is home of the world’s largest strawberry shortcake. The Oregon town first baked the cake at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival in 1931. They baked one for the 1986 World’s Fair in Vancouver, B.C., and crushed Garden Grove, California, in a “Battle of the Shortcakes” in 1975.

18

If all that cake made you thirsty, you’ll be happy to know Oregon’s state beverage is milk.

Carbon markets get real on removal

 Pine forest from above, fall season, forest road

Trey Hill’s family has been working the land around Rock Hall, Maryland, since the early 1900s. Their company, Harborview Farms, now harvests corn, wheat and soy from thousands of acres. But something is different this year. The Hill family has a new crop: sequestered carbon, which they sell to individuals and companies across the United States.

Hill is doing his carbon farming in partnership with Nori, a Seattle-based startup that sells what it calls “carbon removals.” Hill deploys regenerative agriculture techniques, such as the use of cover crops, to draw carbon dioxide from the air and lock it into the soils he works. Nori then helps Hill verify the amount of carbon that he has removed from the atmosphere and sell the associated credit as a carbon offset. For $15, anyone can now fund Hill — and soon, many other farmers — to remove one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. (For comparison, a round-trip economy-class flight between San Francisco and London generates around a ton of CO2, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization).

The idea that companies can shrink their carbon footprints by paying other organizations to reduce greenhouse emissions is around two decades old. But Nori represents several game-changing trends, including the use of new technologies and an emphasis on removing CO2 from the atmosphere rather than reducing emissions. Together with the arrival of new buyers, most notably from the aviation industry, these trends will bring major changes to the market for carbon offsets in 2020 and beyond.

Until now, the bulk of the spending on offsets has gone to projects that avoid emissions. Some companies work with conservation organizations to prevent deforestation, for example. Others fund the development of renewable projects that displace fossil-fuel plants. This work remains essential, but recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have made it clear that emissions reductions alone are not enough — we also need to remove billions of tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere if we’re to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

In anticipation of future demand for removal offsets, Nori has built a digital marketplace that connects buyers with projects that draw down and store CO2, starting with a focus on farmers using regenerative agriculture to increase levels of soil carbon. Another new marketplace, developed by the Finnish company Puro, is offering removal credits linked to the production of biochar (a charcoal-like substance used to safely store carbon) and construction materials made in part from greenhouse gases.

The arrival of these marketplaces looks to be well-timed, because a few first-mover companies have already announced plans to invest significant amounts in carbon removal. Last August, payment services company Stripe committed to investing at least $1 million a year in carbon sequestration projects. A month later, Shopify, which develops e-commerce software, matched that target and declared that it would focus on industrial-scale solutions that involve capturing CO2 from the  air and storing it deep underground. “Our goal is to kickstart the demand and predictability of this market so industrial engineering can scale and the price can come down,” says Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke.

When Stripe and Shopify make their investments in carbon removal, they will have the option of working with Nori, Puro and other more established offsets sellers, such as Natural Capital Partners. Many of these firms are likely to see a surge in business as the demand for offsets of all kinds increases.

In 2018, the market for voluntary offsets more than doubled in size to 98 million tons, according to Ecosystem Marketplace, which collects data on market-based approaches to conserving ecosystem services. “In the past decade, a good year was always old companies doing new buying,” says Steve Zwick, the publication’s managing editor. Now major new buyers are entering the market. Companies are learning they can’t reduce emissions as deeply as they want to, and so are investing in offsets as well as reduction, explains Zwick.

One significant new buyer is Shell, which in 2019 committed to spending $300 million on forestry projects and other nature-based solutions over the next three years, in part to offset some of the emissions produced by the aviation fuel it sells in Britain and the Netherlands. Airlines will also likely be buying large quantities of offsets in coming years. British Airways and Air France have committed to offsetting 100 percent of emissions from their domestic flights starting this year.

And the industry as a whole has committed to capping emissions from international flights at current levels, which is forecast to require purchases of around 150 million tons a year by 2025.

Any company purchasing an offset should be asking hard questions about the ability of the project to reduce emissions. Offsets are sometimes criticized as unreliable, a complaint that surfaced again recently after an investigation by ProPublica into one class of offsets — forest-protection projects — concluded that polluters often “got a guilt-free pass to keep emitting CO2, but the forest preservation that was supposed to balance the ledger either never came or didn’t last.” Proponents of forestry projects noted that while ProPublica highlighted real problems, it also ignored known solutions to those problems. Nevertheless, the reputation of offsets probably took a knock.

It will always be challenging to plant and protect forests in remote areas of the world, particularly in regions of political instability. But another trend may help matters. Over the past few years, the resolution and coverage of satellite imagery have improved while prices have fallen. These changes make it possible to monitor forests at a new level of accuracy.

“You can identify someone who’s cutting down a tree with one day of notice,” Diego Saez-Gil, an entrepreneur working in this space, told Fast Company. Saez-Gil’s startup, Pachama, combines data from satellites, drones and a laser-scanning technology known as lidar with machine learning to create a dashboard that estimates the amount of carbon stored in a forest.

The emergence of these technologies suggests that the market for offsets is going to grow both in size and impact. At a time when the governments of the world’s two largest emitters, the United States and China, are failing to recognize the magnitude of the climate crisis, that’s a welcome piece of good news — and a great example of how the private sector can help fill the gulf left by government inaction.

Molokini Snorkeling Reviews and Tips To Make Your Snorkeling Trip an Eco Friendly One

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Make the most out of life by exploring the sea. Wear them goggles right, plunge into the water, and snorkel away! Soak in the physical benefits of snorkeling, such as muscle strengthening, cardiovascular fitness, joint mobility, and better mental health while rejuvenating your soul with the beauty that the ocean holds.

 

The real question that needs to be asked is where’s the perfect spot? In all honesty, there are a lot of places to go snorkeling, but one of them holds a legendary place in the hearts of divers, thanks to its crystal clear waters and flourishing marine life. Go all out and dive into one of the world’s best diving spots — the Molokini crater in Maui, Hawaii!

 

The Molokini Crater, Hawaii

 

Look for the best Molokini snorkeling tours in Hawaii and make sure that your tour makes the most out of your time. Some tours have two stops — the Molokini Crater and the Makena Coast. Also, look for tours that serve local dishes as you should definitely have the full Hawaiian experience.

 

Molokini Crater is worth every breath held and every paddle. If you fear sharks and deep waters, this spot is perfect for you. The crater is shallow — perfect for snorkeling and a complete turn off for sharks. There’s a lot of fish swimming around the area and a few turtles that would pop in to say hi.

 

Additionally, if you’ve been to Maui, you’re very well aware of the flora and fauna in Molokini Crater — over 200 species of fish! One activity that can be loads of fun for all ages is scouring the waters and crossing off species on your list as you see them. Kai Kanani tour guides are knowledgeable of some of the fish species, too, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions and make small talk.

 

Eco-friendly Snorkeling Trip

 

Different types of tours that stop at the crater are offered, but have you ever tried going for something that benefits you, the ocean, and the animals that are living in it?

 

Also, if traveling with your family, teaching your kids to go green, like spending time outdoors, can help them learn about nature and the planet so that they grow up as well-rounded individuals. It also helps if the entire family knows how to be eco-friendly.

 

If it sounds like something you would want to do, here are a few things you can practice to be a step closer to having an eco-friendly snorkeling trip:

 

 

  1. Ditch The Plastic

 

Single-use plastic is a thing of the past and it should be left there! Going plastic-free is also an upcoming trend in 2020. Give yourself an upgrade and use recyclable containers or upcycled bags instead.

 

When floating, single-use plastic reminds sea critters of food that can be very inviting if they’re hungry. However, these plastic products are indigestible and can bring about harm to almost all who encounter it.

 

  1. Coral Reef-sake Skincare Products

 

Sustainable living is becoming more and more popular. Innovations are being made of traditional products to accommodate this holistic approach to life and the market is more open to eliminating single-use plastics. The availability of products that are sustainable and eco-friendly is at its best, which brings us to coral reef-safe skincare products.

 

Snorkeling involves being under the sun while swimming in salt-water that could cause uncomfortable burns to your skin if not taken care of properly. Because of the variety of chemicals, some sunscreen or beauty products can be harmful to our friends living in the sea. However, there are different brands that sell sunscreen that’s not harmful to coral reefs. Thus, before diving into the ocean, make sure that the beauty products you’re wearing won’t cause any damage to the sea critters.

 

  1. Practice CLAYGO

 

Whether the trash is yours or not, picking it up helps not only the planet but also everything that lives on it.

 

Clean as you go (CLAYGO) was coined to help encourage people to clean up after eating. Along with practicing CLAYGO, sorting your rubbish is also a big step.

 

This rule applies when snorkeling. Since there’s a tendency that the original owner of the trash can no longer be traced, don’t just leave it there floating and waiting for fishes to get poisoned by it. If you ever see trash when snorkeling, give mother nature a hand by picking it up and throwing it properly.

 

  1. Have Healthy Snacks

 

Snorkeling can use up a lot of energy and surface intervals are usually spent eating or resting. Snacks usually come along with wrappers and, most of the time, are not disposed of properly.

 

Lessen the hassle and maximize your surface interval time by snacking on some fruits. Some fruits have peels that edible and biodegradable, which can be beneficial for you, the sea animals, and mother nature.

 

Conclusion

 

Planning an eco-friendly snorkeling trip is not that hard, even if a lot of people are telling you otherwise. It only takes a bit of research, the best tour package, and the conscious effort to save the planet to make your future trip a success.

Green Moving Basics: How To Make Your Move Eco-Friendly

Conducting a green move isn’t always an easy decision. There are a ton of factors especially pertaining to sustainability and conservation of resources in general that can affect the efficiency of the move. if this isn’t your first time conducting a win move, you’d likely understand what we mean when we say green moving takes a lot of time and planning. And if you’re a newbie, just because this concept can be a bit complex doesn’t highly mean it’s impossible. If you want to conduct a green move you can pertain to some of the basic steps below.

 

  • Avoid having multiple trips to your new home. With or without a mover, it’s understandably tricky to get all your things moved to your new home. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should just make a ton of trips to bring a few boxes to your new house. If possible, invest in borrowing a truck or two to bring as much things to your new home in as few trips as possible. This might be hassling on your end, as you might need to pack more things faster. However, if this means having to bring more things in a shorter time, that would reduce your moving time dramatically. In turn, this can help you save time and money, and cut down on your carbon emissions as well. 
  • Assess and confirm green policies. Aside from checking for green moving opportunities, check your location if there are rules and regulations pertaining to green lifestyles at large. Do make sure to check whether services like green movers and a long distance moving company can actually operate in your particular state. Aside from that, do make sure that you’re aware whether your state actually supports or incentivizes moves towards sustainable and green living. This gives you and your family the opportunity to plan not just your move but green living in general. 
  • Consolidate your inventory very early on in the moving process. Consolidate your inventory to remove items you don’t need. It’s important to create an inventory for your move, as this allows you to be aware exactly what you own and what you might want to do with your belongings. It’s advisable you use a digital spreadsheet so you don’t waste on paper while doing this. List everything you own and other relevant information, such as quantity, your estimated price, and relevant notes for reference. Consider if these objects, furniture, and accessories have sentimental value or need to go to your new home. If not, consider selling or donating them. This not just ensures you’re reusing your belongings, but you’re making the best use out of them. This is important especially if you plan on hiring services. For instance, if you have a lot of musical instruments at home, then long distance piano movers may have the right tools for the job. As such, not only is this helpful to save you money, it can help you avoid unnecessary expenses like buying new furniture or accessories. 
  • Dispose of dangerous materials in an eco-friendly way. While decluttering your home, you’ll likely encounter materials such as insecticides and pesticides that can be harmful to the environment. That, coupled with expired food and old electronics, can be a dangerous combination not just for you, but also the people around you. When disposing of these materials, try clarifying with experts as to how you can approach this process in a way that won’t endanger your lives and the environment at large.
  • Hire the right professionals for the job. It helps to try finding professional assistance to help you double down on your green move. While a significant population of movers out there tout themselves as a long distance moving company, they also tend to have a variety of specializations – including house moves, office moves, and even green moves among others. If you’re canvassing for professional moving help, try to ask your prospective movers how they approach their business in a sustainable manner. You might be surprised with how a lot of moving companies have become adding focus on using plastic crates, and renewable energy, and other forms of sustainable operations.

 

Green Moving: Make It Easy With Planning

When it comes to conducting a green move, it’s important to remember that you should first consolidate your resources, manpower, and time in order to make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Of course, this isn’t always the easiest thing in the world – but it can feel refreshing knowing you’re doing a move that can benefit nature in the long run. And with the tips above, you’ll hopefully be able to conduct a green move that wouldn’t exactly stress you out.

Enjoying the Holidays: Accessible and Disability-Friendly Travel Destinations Around the Globe

Wheelchair, Spacer, Child Care, Disabled, Para, Seahttps://pixabay.com/photos/wheelchair-spacer-child-care-3948122/

Going on a holiday requires a great deal of planning. Booking accommodation, flights, making arrangements with tour guides and much more. With a disability, you will be required to do extra research to ensure you have the best holiday with full access to your dream vacation spots.

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On The Oregon Coast, Turning Pollution Into Art With A Purpose

Source:OPB

At Coquille Point along the remote and rugged southern Oregon Coast, the wind is tumultuous and the sea just as violent. Huge waves crash up against the giant, moss-cloaked rocks perched off the beach.

This particular stretch of the Oregon coastline is famous for being pristine and wild. But train your eyes down a little closer to the beach and sand as Angela Haseltine Pozzi so often does, and even here you’ll find bits of plastic.

“I think the most disturbing thing I find is detergent bottles and bleach bottles with giant bite marks out of them by fish,” she says.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi founded Washed Ashore in 2010. The nonprofit turns plastics taken from Oregon's beaches into eye-opening sculptures of threatened marine life.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi founded Washed Ashore in 2010. The nonprofit turns plastics taken from Oregon’s beaches into eye-opening sculptures of threatened marine life.

NPR, Kirk Siegler

Haseltine Pozzi is a local artist and longtime art teacher who’s made it her mission to collect as much of this shameful garbage as possible. It washes up from Asia, Europe, California and right here in Oregon.

In her gallery in the nearby town of Bandon, Oregon, where she’d spend summers with her grandmother exploring the wild beaches, she’s now taking these plastic invaders and turning them into jaw-dropping sculptures. The plastic bottle caps, cocktail toothpicks, shotgun shell casings — anything — form life-size garbage creatures of the very marine life threatened by all this plastic.

Washed Ashore

“The idea is you can’t ignore something that’s really big,” Haseltine Pozzi says. “It grabs your attention.”

Some are almost comical, if in a dark way. It’s indeed hard to ignore the giant weedy sea dragon, its neck made of suction cups from old vacuum cleaners, its eyes are black plastic water bottle caps. Nearby, there is a jellyfish sculpted from golf balls. There are sharks and birds with feathers made from fastened together flip flops and plastic lighters.

In her gallery in Bandon, Ore., Angela Haseltine Pozzi stands next to an enormous sea dragon sculpted from plastics found on Oregon's famously 'pristine' beaches.

In her gallery in Bandon, Ore., Angela Haseltine Pozzi stands next to an enormous sea dragon sculpted from plastics found on Oregon’s famously ‘pristine’ beaches.

NPR, Kirk Siegler

And you can’t miss the life-size replica of a juvenile humpback whale’s rib cage, made of, you guessed it by now, plastic household bleach bottles. You can walk under it or even bang on it like a drum if you’re frustrated by this point.

Haseltine Pozzi’s goal in creating this project is to reach the general public, not just the converted art connoisseurs and the environmentalists.

“I want to reach everybody, I want to reach kids,” she says. “I want to reach people who might throw something on the beach and not think about it, and I want them to start to think about it.”

In 2010, she founded the nonprofit Washed Ashore to support all this work, including the popular gallery and extensive education and outreach nationwide. They’ve built 80 sculptures made out of 26 tons of garbage collected from the Oregon Coast. They’ve been displayed across the country — from the zoo in Tacoma, Washington, to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. There are classes for students young and old, beach cleanups and plenty of hands-on opportunities to help build these sculptures in the Bandon gallery.

A to-scale sculpture of a juvenile humpback whale ribcage made of plastic bottles.

A to-scale sculpture of a juvenile humpback whale ribcage made of plastic bottles.

NPR, Kirk Siegler

One of the most popular there is a six-foot-wide sea star made from individual-use plastic water bottles, most from the 2008 Olympics in China.

“They’re still coming in,” Haseltine Pozzi says. “Still washing up on our beaches [with] the insignia on them.”

As dismaying as all of this is, Haseltine Pozzi is a pragmatist. She’s not on a crusade to end all plastics. She knows we have to use them in critical things like our phones or our medical equipment.

A sea star made mostly of plastic water bottles from the 2008 Summer Olympics in China that are still washing up on Oregon beaches today.

A sea star made mostly of plastic water bottles from the 2008 Summer Olympics in China that are still washing up on Oregon beaches today.

NPR, Kirk Siegler

But will these enormous plastic sculptures make us rethink how much we use?

“Single-use plastics are the most dangerous because you use it and in five minutes you’re done with it and then it lasts a thousand years,” she says. “We were never taught that, if we [had] we’d think differently.”

Education, Haseltine Pozzi says, can make a difference. After all, we invented all these convenient plastics, so why can’t we create our way out of this crisis.

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Indoor Air Is Not As Clean As You Think

We all know how polluted the air outside is, especially if we live in big cities. But if you think that the air inside our homes, offices, schools, and any other building is any cleaner, you’re in for a big surprise.

Research shows that indoor air can actually be more polluted than outside air.

Then again, it’s not really surprising given the myriad of pollutants that ruin indoor air.

The streets have exhaust from countless vehicles; the inside of a home has cleaning products, which are loaded with harmful chemicals.

Factory fumes can taint the air in the countryside, cigarette smoke in restaurants and clubs exposes everyone there to thousands of toxins.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising to unseen before levels, while the gas stoves, ovens, and heaters that we use in our homes can put us at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if they spring a leak.

Indoor areas are also incredibly prone to mold, which forms when there is excessive moisture. And if you have cats or dogs at home, then you’re dealing with pet dander on a daily basis.

Sure, an AC system can do a lot to make the atmosphere indoors more comfortable, especially when it’s subjected to regular maintenance and when necessary, professional air conditioning repair. However, comfortable is no guarantee that the air is clean. As long as there are pollutants indoors, the air inside won’t be as clean or as breathable as you want it to be.

You really need to be concerned about poor indoor air quality because it can trigger health issues. Respiratory illnesses, allergies, and heart disease are some of the health problems that poor indoor air quality can cause.

Check out the infographic below if you want to know more facts about indoor air quality.

Facts About Indoor Air Quality

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Growing Up Green: The Importance of Teaching Your Children About Sustainability

By: Kay Carter

As a parent, you probably understand the importance of teaching your child to care for the environment. At the same time, however, you may feel that the concept of sustainability can be a bit too complicated for your young child to understand. If you’re struggling with how you can help your child understand the benefits of a clean and sustainable environment, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few ways you can teach your children about sustainability.

Visit a Local Farmer’s Market
Farmer’s markets are much more than fruit and vegetable stands. These markets are first-hand examples of sustainability because many local farmers use sustainable farming practices to grow the foods they sell to the community. Take a trip to a nearby market with your child to show them the positive effects of organic farming (and bring a reusable bag along to fit all of your groceries).

neonbrand A0jiySI0nc4 unsplash

Reduce Energy Consumption
Most children probably don’t think anything of leaving lights on in the home or taking a long shower. Teaching your child about the importance of energy consumption can help them see the big picture of how wastefulness can harm the environment. Remind your children that all lights should be turned off when not in use and appliances should be used in eco-friendly mode whenever possible. Additionally, encourage them to take shorter showers and turn the water off when brushing their teeth.

Avoid Single-Use Items
Did you know that there are reusable alternatives to many of the single-use items you have in your home? You can teach your kids early on how to use items that can be reused and recycled. For example, instead of using plastic grocery bags at the store, educate them on bringing a reusable bag with them every time they go. Do your children drink out of plastic water bottles? Give them a metal canteen to reuse and a metal straw to drink out of, instead. Custom Earth points out the importance of reusable items .

Purchase Environmentally Friendly Products for Your Home
Many of the products in your home may not be good for the environment. You can set a good example for your children by purchasing eco-friendly cleaning products and explaining the benefits of these items. Soaps, furniture, mattresses, and pillows can all be purchased without chemicals that can harm the environment. The key is to know where to look and what to look for. Sharing this information with your children will allow them to be more mindful when looking for products as well.

Encourage Active Time Outdoors
Not only can spending time outside be good for your children’s health, but it’ll also give them a chance to learn more about the environment. If you give your children the chance to develop a healthy relationship with the outdoors, they’ll be more inclined to care about issues that could negatively impact the environment. Spending active time outdoors could also result in your child growing up to prefer walking or biking over driving.

With the help of the tips above, you can help your child understand why a sustainable environment is so important. Not only will this knowledge help your child make positive contributions to the world around them, but it’ll also help promote a cleaner world for everyone.