This article was originally posted by the invaluable Campus Progress and is re-posted here with permission.
Everyone’s ready for spring break after a long winter. Here are 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.
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.