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.

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.

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.

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

Interested in booking a shuttle with us? Booking a bus should be simple. We offer charter buses and commuting options so that you can have a smooth event or get employees to their destination on time, every time. Whether you want to tour wine country, hit the slopes at Mt. Hood, or just get a lift to the airport, ecoShuttle has an environmentally friendly solution to meet your needs. Use our online quote form to build a custom trip plan, or choose one of our specialty tours for a truly unique Portland experience.

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.

 

Improve Home Air Quality with Indoor Plants

By Krista Harper

Poor air quality in your home can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. Poor air quality can be linked to allergies, asthma, fatigue, and even lung disease. And what most people don’t realize is that the air quality in your home can be up to five times worse than outdoors.

One of the best ways to counter poor air quality is by growing indoor plants throughout your home. Here are five indoor plants that do a great job of improving your home’s air quality.

Peace Lily

According to NASA, the Peace Lily is the most efficient plant to remove volatile organic compounds. It is also relatively easy to grow anywhere in the home with limited sunlight and weekly watering. Keep in mind that the Peace Lily can also be toxic to humans if ingested, and especially toxic to pets if eaten.

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy is native to the Solomon Islands, though due to its attractive green and white marble heart-shaped leaves and easy growth it has become a popular home plant throughout the world. Devil’s Ivy is popularly sold in hanging baskets and should be placed near a window, though away from direct sunlight. The soil should be peaty and frequently watered to remain moist.

This plant does a great job cleansing airborne pollutants such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde. Though, it is toxic when ingested.

Red-Edged Dracaena

Wildly popular in the United States due to its uniquely attractive upright evergreen leaves and flowering blooms, this is an incredibly easy plant to grow. The Red-Edged Dracaena grows in an area with indirect sunlight with slightly moist soil. That means it grows best in a room of your home that has windows, though the plant should not be in front of a window.

This is another plant widely recommended by NASA for its air purifying efficiency especially in regard to formaldehyde and other VOCs such as benzene and xylene.

Snake Plant

Snake Plant is a NASA recommended plant. Originally native to Western Africa, the Snake Plant is popular throughout the world. This plant prefers tons of natural light, so keeping it in a room that has the most exposure to the sun is optimal. Though, it can actually manage well with shorter durations of light if needed. The only care caution is to not overwater as the plant is prone to rot.

English Ivy

English Ivy is also recommended by NASA for purifying the air and reducing toxins. Additionally, it may help to reduce mold in your home. Due to its uninhibited growing nature the English Ivy is recommended to be grown indoors, though it does very well outdoors. The plant should be grown in direct sunlight ideally facing east or west. The plant should also be in a room with constant temperatures and should be watered regularly.

Growing plants indoors is an excellent way to help purify your home’s air and remove air borne pollutants and toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde. Trichloroethylene, and xylene. This air filtering quality helps to improve sleep for those who suffer from sleep deprivation, allergies, and even sleep apnea. NASA has done extensive research on plants and clean air studies as part of their ongoing mission to organically manage air quality in future colonization efforts. The five plants on this list are known to be some of the most efficient for purifying the air.

3 Restful Weekend Getaway Ideas for Summer

By Lisa Smalls

While studies indicate that well-being and health improve after taking a vacation, the U.S. doesn’t have a government mandate that requires leave for employees in public and private offices. As a matter of fact, ¼ of all American workers don’t get any vacation at all. Employers who offer this benefit usually give an average of 10 days off per year. And unfortunately, according to the data collected by Project Time Off, 54% of American workers don’t use these earned days off. It’s time to take vacation seriously.

Here are three restful weekend getaways to keep in mind.

Romantic Getaways for Couples
Romantic getaways don’t have to be expensive. In fact, some of the most romantic and affordable weekend getaways can be found in British Columbia, Oregon, or Washington! One of the best places to go on a romantic weekend in Pacific NW is in Victoria, the British Columbia capital. Honeymooners often go here for its all-year blooming flower gardens, cozy restaurants, afternoon tea, charming neighborhood, and great museums and parks.

When in Victoria, opt for lodgings that offer bed and breakfast. There’s a bed and breakfast lodging in a remarkable 1898 heritage home, for example, just within the neighborhood of James Bay called Ashcroft House. Other places you can check out for a romantic getaway in the Pacific NW are the following:
● Lasqueti Island
● Methow Valley
● Olympic National Park Coast
● The Cascade Mountains
● Willamette Valley

victoria city 960x316
victoria city 960×316
Fun Getaways for Families
Since school is finally over, it’s time for some fun in the sand! One of the best places to go to during summer in the Pacific NW is the Semiahmoo Resort & Spa. This resort is located in Blaine, Washington. What’s great about this resort is that you can see Canada from the coastlines. It’s also a great resort for families to hang out, with restaurants just around the corner. It even has its own movie theater so families can really have one great time in a single location!

During the daytime, kids can play tennis, basketball, or pickleball in the play areas. There are also outdoor and indoor pools if anyone’s ready to hit the water. And every Saturday, the resort hosts a two-hour program that allows kids to play while their parents relax elsewhere. Other places you can check out for a family getaway in the Pacific NW are the following:
● Suncadia
● Leavenworth
● San Juan Island
● Kalaloch and Ruby Beach
● Mount Rainier National Park

Exciting Summer Getaway with Friends
When in the Pacific NW area, try visiting Leavenworth, a gorgeous village at the center of the Cascade Mountains. This town is so charming that no matter what the season is, it never fails to attract visitors. There are plenty of places to shop, dine, and simply explore the town’s natural beauty. On top of that, they also have plenty of local events tourists can join or visit.

For friends looking for a fun outdoor experience, Leavenworth will surely not be a letdown. You can enjoy activities like hiking, wine tasting, horseback riding, mountain biking, paddle boarding, and river tubing. Leavenworth is near Colchuck Lake, so after a four-mile hike, you can bear witness to an alpine lake planked the tallest peaks of Washington.
Other places you can check out for a summer getaway with friends:
● Spokane
● Friday Harbor
● Olympic Peninsula
● Bellingham
● Whidbey Island

Fort Casey Cliff on Whidbey Island
Fort Casey Cliff, Whidbey Island
Are you ready for a vacation? These places we suggested will surely make you want to leave work now and schedule that road trip. Remember to plan your vacation well in advance of your leaving dates, pack all things necessary, check your car for safety, bring sunblock, and book your trip with ecoShuttle!

4 Reasons Why Polluted Air Can Have An Impact On Your Career

By Natalie Wilson

air pollution

There is a lot of talk these days about just how bad air pollution is for us. Whether you suffer from asthma or even work on a farm, it seems that no one can escape the effects of air pollution. Office workers may believe that, because they work indoors, that they can avoid the damaging effects which so many others come into contact with, but it turns out that offices may be one of the worst places to work when it comes to air pollution.

When it comes to cities and urban areas, air pollution can be a huge problem and a huge proportion of office spaces are based within these areas. Not including your daily commute to and from work, your office is likely to be at risk of contributing to your exposure to this polluted air. So, with that in mind, here are 4 reasons why polluted air may be having an impact on your career, without you even realizing it.

Taking More Sick Days

Air pollution can be extremely damaging to our health and prolonged periods of exposure can make you very unwell, especially if you already suffer from health issues. The effects of polluted air are hard to ignore, but what impact does it have on the health of workers?

If you suffer from asthma, respiratory problems or migraines, then it has been shown that air pollution acts as a trigger for these health conditions and can make them worse. It is vital that you know how to protect yourself on the days where air pollution is high so that your symptoms don’t worsen. If you regularly have to travel to an area where pollution levels are high, then it is likely that you will be at increased risk of suffering from long-term periods of illness, leading to taking more sick days.

health wellbeing 2

Air Quality and Your Office

If it’s smoggy outside, then why should this be a concern to you when you are sat at your desk indoors? In actual fact, this should be a huge concern. Recent studies have shown that office workers can feel the impact of bad air quality outdoors just as much as those who work outdoors in it. A study found that when air pollution levels go up, productivity in office workers goes down and this can cause work levels to drop.

Although pollution is less present indoors, it can infiltrate even the most air-tight buildings. For those offices who are in the center of a busy city, then it is vital that they invest in proper air ventilation for employees, whether that comes from installed industrial ventilation systems or buying air purifiers for the office.

health wellbeing 2

It Could Affect Your Chances Of Being Hired

Even though recent employment reports have shown steady increases across the board when it comes to the number of people who are now employed, depending on the sector in which you work, air pollution may have an impact on the number of people who are hired.

Jobs which are based outdoors, such as building and maintenance work, are all known to have been affected by the effects of air pollution. Within the fossil fuel industry, there have also been decreases in the number of jobs available as the industry is constantly battling off eco-friendly energy competitors and having to get to grips with additional safety and monitoring measures. Energy efficiency is the US’s cheapest and cleanest energy resource and contributes to more energy needs than oil, gas or nuclear energy. It currently accounts for over 2.3 million jobs in the US, which is 10 times more than coal mining or oil drilling.

It Will Have An Impact On Your Commute

No matter how you choose to get to work, whether you walk, cycle, use public transport or drive, you will be put into direct contact with air pollution. The amount of cars on the road is at the highest level ever recorded and a huge proportion of people are still yet to consider the change over to hybrid or electric vehicles. Thanks to these increased numbers, if you take public transport then you can expect a longer commute time. If you cycle or walk, then you may be concerned about being more at risk of exposure to high pollution levels.

Making small changes within your routine can reduce your exposure to air pollution quite considerably. It has been proven that active commuters – those who walk or cycle – are typically less exposed to air pollution than those who travel by bus or car. This may be that because vehicles travel in a queue, air pollution is absorbed by ventilation systems and is trapped inside. Making small changes to your mode of commuting can decrease your exposure to pollution by around 25%-90%, so it is well worth ditching the car and walking or cycling instead.

Back in the Blog Saddle

Hello Blog Readers,

I’m happy to be back on the blog after being ousted by Fiona! But now I’m back, and first off, I would like to congratulate Jesse and Fiona Yun on the birth of their daughter, Avani, the newest Yun! I would also like to congratulate William Sampson and his wife Elizabeth on their newborn boy, Darwin, as well. Continue reading Back in the Blog Saddle

Organic Beer Blog

Hola Blog Readers!

As I write this and look out at the rain-soaked landscape here at ecoShuttle, I can’t help but pine for those days of sunshine and beer that are just around the corner in Portland. While the weather isn’t here just yet, I would like to list some delicious ORGANIC beers that are available in the Portland area, as well as some local brewpubs featuring organic beers that you can visit either on your own or as part of an ecoShuttle brew tour that we would love to help put together for you. Continue reading Organic Beer Blog