The very purpose of traveling, especially when you want to hit the road with your family, is to take a break from it all: the pressure at work, the monotony of house chores, the mundaneness of everyday life. You want to be carefree for the next few days or weeks—you deserve it, after all.
But did you know that travel is not the most environmentally friendly activity? When you fly on a plane, take a road trip, eat food in takeout containers— all of these have an impact on the environment. But when you’re going on a vacation you planned and saved up for a long time, the last thing you need is to feel guilty about enjoying this much-deserved reward.
Thankfully, there are simple things you can do to minimize the impact of your travel on the environment—and set a good example to your kids, too. Read these tips before you even start planning your trip:
1 Think before you print. Use paper only when needed. Otherwise, save e-tickets and maps on your mobile device, and send driving directions to your email or take a screenshot on your phone.
2 Be wise in choosing accommodations. If you can, book your rooms at a locally owned and operated establishment. Look for those with sustainability initiatives, such as the use of energy-saving lights and self-sustaining water systems.
3 Go non-stop. A direct flight to your destination has a lower carbon footprint than a flight with several stopovers. The more stopovers, the more energy a plane needs to take off. If there are affordable fares available, choose a non-stop flight.
4 Unplug. Once your plans are finalized, take note to turn off and unplug all home appliances on the day of your departure. Even when left on standby mode, appliances still consume electricity if they remain plugged.
5 Pack light. Have each family member bring only the essentials. Challenge yourself to mix and match clothes to create different outfits. You’ll have an easier time deciding what to wear each day—plus, your plane, car, or bus will use less energy if the load it carries is not too heavy. Less energy or fuel means a lower carbon footprint.
6 Bring reusable shampoo and lotion containers. Before you give in to the urge of buying bathroom products by the sachet (they’re mess-free and easy to dispose as you move from one location to another), think of how much more plastic waste can end up in our oceans. Opt for small reusable containers, which you can simply refill and bring again on your next trip. Just make sure to pack them in your check-in luggage especially if they exceed the 100ml bottle restriction for hand carry luggage.
At the hotel:
7 Conserve water. Take shorter showers. Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth. Use a cup instead of your hands to rinse your mouth.
8 Leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. This means you don’t need the housekeeping staff to change your sheets or vacuum the floor, tasks which require the use of electricity or water, especially if you’re just staying for a couple of nights.
9 Hang your towels after use. You don’t put your towel at home in the laundry after using it once, right? At the hotel, hang it to dry instead of leaving it on the floor (which means you want it replaced by the housekeeping staff). You can also help save more laundry water this way.
10 Turn off the lights and air-conditioning when you leave the room. This may not have an effect on your hotel bill when you check out, but imagine how much energy is conserved when you spend the day outside.
11 Bring a reusable shopping tote. As you purchase souvenirs or anything that catches your fancy, each store or vendor will likely give you a bag for your items. If you place your items in your own shopping tote instead, you lessen waste that ends up in the dumps or even in the ocean
12 Have a refillable water bottle with you at all times. If you had to buy a bottle of water for every time you get thirsty, how many empty plastic bottles do you think you would have used by the end of your trip? Always carry refillable water bottles for every member of the family; choose just the right bottle size and refill during pit stops.
13 Use public transportation. Walking and biking are great for your health. Guess what? They’re good for the environment, too, because you don’t use any fuel. If you must, take public transportation. Make taking a cab or renting a car your last option.
14 Eat at local restaurants. When you eat at these places, you know that food is sourced locally, meaning no transportation was used. Try to avoid eating at fast food chains that use up a ton of plastic straws and styrofoam food packaging. Hurray for lower carbon footprint—again!
15 Use Google Maps when you travel.It’s tempting to grab colorful printed maps and travel catalogues along the way. Thanks to technology, Google Maps is your best travel buddy for road directions, restaurant tips, and nearby attractions. This way, we can collectively save paper and lessen garbage.
Even with the challenge of going green, traveling is nevertheless a wonderful experience to share with your family. But nothing beats the feeling of coming home to a beautiful residential community set amidst a sprawling green estate like The Residences at Commonwealth by Century. With its fully landscaped and waterscaped nature park and unique lifestyle amenities, the entire family can look forward to more bonding moments without having to go far. The best part: You can move in now for a minimum of 2.5% down payment!
Get a feel of what it’s like to live the Century Properties lifestyle by booking a Siglo Suites staycation. From condotels to serviced apartments, there are various types of accommodations to suit your needs at The Gramercy Residences Makati, The Knightsbridge Residences Makati, The Milano Residences Makati, Azure Urban Resort Residences Parañaque, and Acqua Private Residences Mandaluyong.
Find out more about Century Properties here.