Going green doesn’t mean you have to do any extra work than you would normally do when planning your vacation. Going green simply means being conscious of your environment. And it’s still easy to care about the environment while abroad. Here are a few simple ideas for green travel when you are on the go to Mexico (or anywhere for that matter)!
1. Chose an eco-friendly hotel supporting sustainable tourism.
When you have the option, search for hotels that support the environment and their surroundings. These hotels often use energy-efficient and native materials and are protecting the region’s natural beauty and culture. Check to see if the hotel has been declared by the Mexican government as a regional and national model for sustainable tourism development.
2. Pack recyclable, reusable bags.
No need to use any plastic bags or even brown bags. Green reusable bags will serve you well carrying fresh produce, groceries, books to the beach and misc. travel items.
3. Take the bus.
Use public transportation if possible. No need to rent a car or take a taxi. Not only does this help eliminate unwanted exhaust and emissions, it’s a very inexpensive way to see the town (if walking is not an option) and also you may be treated to a guitar solo on board or a busload of singers, especially in Mexico.
4. Support local farmers markets, local stands.
Locate the closest farmers markets or outdoor markets in the town you’ll be visiting. Make a conscious effort to support those local growers. Taking the time to buy organic means someone took the time to grow organic. Also support the food stands on the corner. (These stands are usually the best places to go, friendly people, fresh food!)
5. Visit a botanical garden, nature park or protected coastal areas.
Explore wild ecosystems, learn about native plants in your travel destination. Plan a day on your trip for an insightful tour of mangroves, cenotes or other nature tours.
6. Keep recycling.
Just because there might not be a recycle basket in your hotel room doesn’t mean you should throw that soda can into the garbage. Check to see if your hotel recycles bottles, cans, plastics or cardboard. Or check to see if any recycling facilities are located nearby or if the local grocery store accepts them.
7. Walk, walk, walk.
If your hotel is not all-inclusive, pick one where you can walk to town, walk to local markets, walk to the beach or walk to the bus stop. Or check out some local walking tours.
8. Participate in a beach/city clean up days.
Check the local event calendar or paper for local clean up event such as beach clean ups, city clean ups, environmental group meetings, etc. and participate. You don’t have to be a local to care about the city you are visiting. Help make it a better place than when you landed.
9. Ditch the baby diapers.
If you have small children/babies in diapers or pull-ups, consider environmentally friendly Happy Heinys by SmartyPants. I bought a pair for my little ones and saved $$ and the environment. You will also save a ton of space in your suitcase as well and you’ll save a trip to the pharmacy when you’re on vacation.
Scott Powell, founder and CEO of EarthClub and vice president of development, Scott Price suggest the following green travel tips below:
10. Rent a bike.
Not only will you get exercise but you will get fresh air and see things you might not normally see.
11. Take a reusable water container.
Instead of buying a dozen plastic water bottles, buy a gallon or larger size of water and refill your recyclable water container. Products like Camelbak or ThinkSport are free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), lead, phthalates, melamine, nitrosamines, PVC and biologically toxic chemicals. Also if you are traveling with baby, ThinkSport offers environmentally friendly baby bottles and more here: Think Baby Bottles. http://www.thinkbabybottles.com/
12. Donate clothing.
Pack additional clothes in your suitcase or an extra suitcase with clothes to donate. You can Google ‘non-profits’ in the area you are visiting to see about stopping by and making a donation. (I LOVE this idea!)
Now, for your next trip to Mexico, you’ll have a head start on some steps to be an environmentally savvy traveler. If you have suggestions, please feel free to comment in the comments section below.
See, it’s easy going green!