Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Travelers’ Night In — Green Travel!


On this week’s round of Travelers’ Night In, the interactive Twitter discussion for avid travelers and travel lovers, we focused on green travel!  As always, ten questions were asked, people responded while tagging their tweets #TNI, and learned quite a bit about some new destinations!

Here are the questions for this week:

Q1. What is the one “travel green” thing you do when traveling?

artistatlarge I take public transportation, stay in one place for awhile, recycle when I can, if I fly somewhere I stay as long as possible.

soultravelers3 We sloooow travel,walk,bike & live large on little!

BeersandBeans Shower together!! A fun way to save water 😉 😉

The easiest thing you can do is to eat local food!

Like fabulous steaks and Malbecs in Argentina.

Q2. Does a hotel or supplier’s “green” practices impact your decision when booking? Why?

Moscerina when traveling throughout italy, I am particularly focused on this because it emphasizes quality and local tradition at every level

toddlucier It’s simply not as easy as travelers want it to be, for a property to be green and inexpensive. Reason most don’t go too far.

travelerkate No-usually it seems like a gimmick. One hotel that provides The Bible a Buddhist book and An Inconvenient Truth…trying too hard!

Honestly, it hasn’t made a difference for me so far — most of the hotels I stay in are in Vegas, and I have my own ideas of where I want to stay.

That being said, if there were two very similar properties, would I pick the one with better legitimate green programs?  Absolutely.

Q3. Have you traveled with the sole purpose to volunteer? Where?

ScenebyLaurie Yes to Morocco, volunteered at an orphanage in Rabat

global_gourmet My first volunteer project for The Global Citizen Project starts 6/2 w/Building a Future in Honduras

kstravelbug I don’t travel with the sole purpose to volunteer. I do volunteer with the sole purpose to travel! to Kathmandu, Oaxaca 🙂

I have not. But I do have the intention of finding a place to volunteer on a long-term trip.  Ignore the places that charge obscene amounts.  Do a little research and find an orphanage that could use an extra pair of hands for a few days, or a school that needs some help.  They’ll be glad to have you.

Q4. What is your biggest non-green guilty pleasure?

Ximm5 too much electricity. Charching all my gadgets always, computer’s too much trime

CoTravelGirl last month I went four-wheeling in the jungle . It was awesome. And so not earth-friendly.

culverlake Besides showers & AC? Eating whale sushi in Iceland. Delish.

Mine is definitely having an ice-cold Las Vegas hotel room in the middle of the summer!  Sleeping in a cold room while covered with tons of heavy blankets is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine.

Q5. Where is the greenest city you have been to? Least green?

LMWilson76 Greenest city I ever visited was Ashville, NC. Such a great vibe, and a really earthy, energetic group of people.

khegre Greenest city, probably Paris b/c of our habits while there. Walk everywhere, stay in apartment, cook meals from farmers market

clareappleyard Least green? Xi’an, China – couldn’t see past the walls for the smog

Vegas is the least green by FAR!  It shouldn’t exist as a city, and it shouldn’t exist in nature.  Everything in Vegas is trucked in from somewhere else, and the electricity levels are devastating.

As for the most green, I think my hometown of Boston does pretty well.  We have a great public transportation system, plenty of parks, an improving system for bike lanes, a growing locavore community, and now one of the centers for green technology.

Q6. Destination with the best wildlife experience?

NG_Rome my sister would say East Timor with the social street-living monkeys and crocodiles

elisabethjoanne Rafting the middle fork of the Salmon River – deer, elk, bear, mtn. lions, mtn. goats, wolves, big horn sheep, eagles

ianandwendy Chobe Botswana. Insane #s of elephants+lions, zebras, baboons, buffalo. Elephant shook acacia seeds dwn on our tent@ nite. Awesome.

Next on my list is seeing tigers and elephants in Sri Lanka. 🙂

Q7. Do you calculate your carbon footprint prior to traveling/while traveling?

niltiac I don’t calculate my carbon footprint especially for a trip but try to calculate it every year for everything I do, including travel

ZipSetRachel I calculate mine once in a while, here is a great site for car and air travel:

toddwassel I have a tomato plant at home…that roughly cancels out my carbon foot print…right? 🙂

Not going to lie — I haven’t, and I’m a bit afraid…

Q8. Most Unique mode of “green” transportation you’ve taken?

mobilelawyer Mule. And not very comfy either. Second would be hitching a ride on TOP of a cargo truck.

WldTrvlBillFeluccas” are the traditional sail boats in Egypt

toddwassel pulled in a little red wagon by my parents [awwwww!]

How about ogling the muscular young men who drive pedicabs during Red Sox games?  Um, I mean, taking a pedicab.

Image: Boston Pedicab

Q9. How do you find ways to travel green?

travelerkate I don’t seek out green travel- I just prefer to eat locally, walk and ask locals what to do. It’s usually “greener” than a guide

melissawrites2 by using common sense. Don’t buy a lot of crap, walk where you can, use recylce bins where available, etc.

GoApril #TNI from now on…… I learned a lot today!

This was a great source. There are always a lot of great green tips on the Huffington Post as well.

Q10. What is your biggest motivation to be green?

smackdown928 As get older care more abt my health,getting married next yr- caring a lot abt health of family I’m creating &world we’ll live in

budgettravelsac I’ll be honest – I’m frugal. Don’t like running the AC, grow my own food, etc

greentravelguru Preserve today what may be gone tomorrow…enough motivation for me

We need to start thinking about the generations living long after us!  We are too dependent on oil — we need to find renewable energy resources and start using them to their potential!  Cape Air is a good start.

And that’s the week!

Travelers’ Night In takes place on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 ET.  The discussion is organized by the lovely ladies at ZipSetGo.  All are welcome!  Follow the #TNI tag to see the questions and conversation!

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6 Responses to “Travelers’ Night In — Green Travel!”
  1. This TNI was great – taught me how non-green I really am in my travels. I learned a lot form responses today.

    I did notice how bad of a rap Vegas got during the session and I feel compelled to defend my ex place of residence a bit. LOL. Many people only see Vegas for the strip and commonly mistake the city for being anything but green (well, technically it is a desert so in the literal sense, it is very un-green), but Vegas itself (along with nearby Henderson) outside of the bright lights is a whole different world. Here are a couple things that many people don’t know about Sin City:

    – The new Palazzo Hotel was designed to be eco-friendly and consumes less energy and water. The massive City Center project was applying for LEED cerification and had hoped to be the biggest LEED project in the U.S. I read somewhere recently it earned the top spot for the whole world, but not sure if that’s truly the case.

    – All new homes come pretty standard with energy efficient features – I bought a pre-construction house with all energy upgrades included. All gas dryers in new homes as well. I had the lowest power bills ever for the time I lived in Las Vegas. Average utilities during the heat of the summer $80-$100 for gas, power, water, and sewage whereas my parents pay over $200 a month in California.

    – Vegas has not allowed grass to be put in new homes in a number of years. Only natural rock yards and plants that need little water are allowed due to the desert heat. Everyone had drip systems installed and scheduled water days. I used less water in 3 years than I did in 2 weeks on my lawn in Northern California

    – Practically everyone had hybrids there. We were given a Toyota Prius for our company car and my old company had a huge green initiative going with the local govt. The city actually sponsored rideshare programs that companies joined in. You swiped a card every day you carpooled and each month there were drawings – I won several hundred dollars a couple times.

    – Used to be Vegas has strict regulations on vehicle emissions to ensure it didn’t get awful like Los Angeles, but thanks to all us bad Californians who moved there without changing our plates *oops* they had trouble regulating who was a resident and who was just in town for the weekend.

    – They are looking at ways to improve public transportation to decrease vehicle traffic. There has been talk about making the strip a pedestrian only street and not sure where plans stand for the high speed train between LA and Vegas.

    – A number of raw, vegan, and organic restaurants/markets have popped up in the last 2 years. Many of the hotels are looking to move in this direction as well.

    So Vegas definitely has a way to go, but they are making strides. I will say the Mayor there is more involved and concerned about his city than anywhere else I have ever lived. And at least the bright lights are confined to a small area unlike Asia where I feel like it’s Vegas everywhere. Sometimes I forget it’s dark out when we’re wandering around town because of all the bright lights!
    .-= Erin De Santiago´s last blog ..Photo of the Week: Peanut Ice Cream with Cilantro in Taipei, Taiwan =-.

    • Kate says:

      Wow! Erin, thank you so much for sharing. I had no idea that Vegas was doing so much for the environment! Let’s hope it sets the standard for other cities.

      I stayed at the Palazzo once. It’s definitely one of my favorites, especially because it smells so nice in there (unlike the other cigarette smoke-filled casinos!).

      • No problem! That was my little goodwill effort at improving Vegas’ bad image. HAHA I never got to stay at Palazzo or Wynn either since I was living there – feel like I missed out!

        BTW, forgot to mention in my original response thank you for mentioning the pedicab! I couldn’t think of what the heck it was called – I just said it was the carriage type thing with the hot guy running us through SF! Such an eloquent tweet! LOL. If that was a regularly available mode of transportation, it would do wonders for my carbon footprint as I’d vow to never ride in a car again! 🙂
        .-= Erin De Santiago´s last blog ..Photo of the Week: Peanut Ice Cream with Cilantro in Taipei, Taiwan =-.

  2. JoAnna says:

    I just read your blog post and was compelled to comment and defend Las Vegas (the place I call home) but I see Erin beat me to it, so thank you Erin.

    Yes, the Strip gives Las Vegas a bad reputation, but there are a lot of earth-friendly people who live here. There’s a very active biking community, many people reuse shopping bags and the city actively promotes desert landscaping. A new program for solar power is now being promoted as well.

    I would also mention the new public transportation system that was just launched last month. There are public buses that now go from the Strip to downtown as well as up and down Las Vegas Boulevard which means a lot fewer taxis are heading to Fremont Street. There are also public buses and park-and-ride centers that are new to the city, which take people to work every day. The more you ride, the cheaper the cost.

    In addition, Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport finally started a recycling program this year. I know, it took a long time, but better late than never.

    Finally, the Strip’s newest addition, City Center, is also LEED certified. I believe that a lot of the resorts and casinos realize that people are starting to look at their carbon footprints when they travel and they know this city has a bad rep. I think you’ll see more eco-friendly efforts on the Strip as it continues to grow, but please keep in mind that there is so much more to the city than just those four miles.
    .-= JoAnna´s last blog ..9 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Stay On The Beaten Path =-.

  3. Shannon OD says:

    Looking forward to participating next week, just discovered this and have added the hashtag to my lists! 🙂 Fun post.

  4. Mary says:

    Thanks Kate! Reading the recap is the next best thing to being there.

    Q1: one thing I do to stay green…carry recyclables with me until I find a recycling container. Most hotels do not have them. I saw my first at the Hershey Lodge in Pennsylvania recently…but it had a plastic liner. Not green!

    Q2: I travel a lot for business and pleasure and have not yet found a hotel with a good green program.

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