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Green spring break?

By Joe Romm on March 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

"Green spring break?"

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Everyone’s ready for spring break after a long winter.  CAP has some ideas for those who want to relieve their stress without stressing out the planet.

Take a “staycation.” Staying at home instead of traveling can be a really inexpensive and relaxing way to enjoy your time off. In fact, it’s probably the “greenest” travel option there is. It will save you money, make less of an environmental impact, and allow you to explore your immediate surroundings. Consumer Reports has some ideas to help you get started.

Pack light. Traveling light saves you money as well as stress, and it can lower your vacation’s carbon footprint. Traveling lighter means less weight, which means less fuel for your car or plane. Some of the items you’ll be trying to cram into your suitcase can be bought upon your arrival, which helps boost the local economy of wherever you’re visiting. Visit RealBuzz for tips.

Enjoy the great outdoors. Take your bike out, go camping, or hang out at the beach. Just remember to use resources wisely: Recycle, look for ways to cut waste, and leave no trace when you camp.

Look for green hotels. Eco-friendly lodging is cropping up across the country as hotels face pressure to conserve resources. You can find loads of green hotels online.

Travel green. Your transportation has perhaps the biggest effect on the environment. If you’re flying, try to avoid flying at night. The contrails of a plane at night have a bigger impact on global warming than those left in the day. As an alternative to flying, you can also take a train overnight while you sleep, carpool, or take a road trip with a rented hybrid car.

Go alternative. Many students these days are choosing to participate in an alternative spring break. Most colleges organize volunteer opportunities that include partnering with Habitat for Humanity or with local community groups painting schools, planting trees, or engaging in another worthwhile green activity. Other opportunities include traveling out of state or even out of the country. Sometimes you can even get college credit for your week spent “working.” Check with your local campus community service and/or volunteer office to see if they have anything in the works.

– A CAP repost.

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6 Responses to Green spring break?

  1. Andy Revkin says:

    One of the greenest spring break I’ve seen is the one taken by a dozen Pace University grad and undergraduate communication students who went to Belize to shoot a documentary on efforts to farm shrimp while cutting environmental impacts. Here’s their blog tracking the shooting, and now the editing: http://j.mp/PaceShrimp

  2. Peter M says:

    The Greening down of me. I for years traveled to the west coast for R & R- – but now- considering the amount of carbon I would use in a transcontinental flight- I have opted against this, to the surprise of friends.

    Local this year, New England– lots to do and see. Vermont is stunning.

  3. jemand says:

    I’m not really sure substituting moving items with buying new will have any kind of environmental, rather than economic, benefit. After all, these items were made elsewhere to begin with and shipped into the new location just as much as your personal items being brought there would be, and a lot of energy used in their production.

  4. John Mason says:

    Get gardening!

    It gets you outside in the sunshine, results in delicious food and is soooo good for the soul!

    Cheers – John

  5. 350 Now says:

    Trail Maintenance: One of the best bangs for the volunteer buck we have found is to engage college students on their semester breaks to do trail maintenance on national forest (or national park) trails. Until you have helped out a local trail group to sponsor a day or week long trail day, it is hard to describe the positive results. This may very well be the first time some of the students have been on trails on public lands, and certainly the first time for most of them to hold a pulaski or fire rake to dig or improve trail tread. Most people think the “rangers” do all the trail maintenance. NOT. Their budgets have never allowed for this and trail building, Maintenance is usually done monthly by volunteer trail clubs.

    The benefits are many: cross pollination with elders and youth; exposure of the students to “giving back” in comm. service as well as learning about the land, water and resource issues on site; usually clean fresh air invigorating the work and the land “wins” in that erosion control structures prevent further damage to the watersheds. A win-win-win situation. Call your local national forest, park or refuge for info on opportunities. Usually there are all levels of work available – from light clipping and lopping along the trail to heavier work of dragging brush or removing storm blowdowns. All in all, a great spring or fall break experience for all involved.

  6. dbmetzger says:

    Forecasters Predict “Barbecue Summer” for UK
    Independent meteorological company Positive Weather Solutions August will be a scorcher, but the Met Office, Great Britain’s national weather service, refuses to predict so far ahead. http://www.newslook.com/videos/300618-forecasters-predict-barbecue-summer-for-uk?autoplay=true