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Plan a trip that can help save the planet

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Eco-friendly travel tips

With more and more people concerned about the welfare and sustainability of our planet, it is no surprise that the eco-friendly travel industry has grown tremendously in the last decade. Travelers are now oftentimes experiencing amazing destinations while also being eco-conscious.

Hiking Group

The next time you travel, consider doing so in an eco-friendly manner. Follow these green travel tips and plan a trip that can help save the planet.

Eliminate your carbon footprint

The first step eco-friendly travelers take is to plan on eliminating their carbon footprint. By doing so, you can help tackle the global warming problem and also help transform the world to a future where only clean energy is utilized.

At CarbonFund.org, you simply click on the "For an Individual" button, select the mode of transportation you will use when traveling and the tax-deductible donation to offset your carbon footprint will automatically be calculated.

Before you leave for your trip, unplug all your unnecessary appliances. TVs, radios, microwaves and other appliances use energy even when they are off. Lower your thermostat and water heater settings to reduce enegry waste.

Popular green destinations

There are eco-friendly destinations literally all over the world. In the United States, popular green destinations include the Pacific Northwest and the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. The rain forests of Central and South America are also a top choice.

In Africa, the wildlife preserves attract a lot of eco-friendly travelers, as do other isolated locations such as the island of Madagascar. Iceland and Switzerland in Europe are pristine options, while Laos and Thailand offer a variety of locations for eco-friendly travelers headed to Asia.

Select a green hotel

When deciding where to stay, it's important to make sure that you book your reservations with a green hotel. At GreenHotels.com, you can find a group of member hotels that have taken the extra steps necessary to ensure their hotels are eco-friendly. Listings for green hotels are from all over the world - from Asia to Europe to locations throughout the United States. Green hotels use a number of energy saving measures including CFLs, low-flow showerheads, recycling programs, eco-friendly packaging and much more.

At IStayGreen.org, you can find a database full of environmentally friendly hotel options. Simply use the search option on the front page of the website and you will find a green hotel in your travel destinations. Also at IStayGreen.org is the ability to read user-generated reviews, which can give you first hand accounts of the different hotel options before you complete your reservation.

While on your trip, walk as much as possible or use public transit. Never leave the lights or the air conditioner/heater running when you aren't in the room. When hiking or exploring, only use marked trails to avoid destroying vegetation. Don't leave containers, trash or anything else behind.

Eco-friendly programs

If you want go on an adventure and help a good cause at the same time, many fantastic ideas can be found on RAWChallenges.com. Instead of traveling for solely your pleasure, you can make a difference in the world.

By selecting a RAW challenge, you not only help out the host community, you are also simultaneously aiding charities by raising money. While these adventures can definitely be difficult, the memories last a lifetime - as do the changes your participation helped create and inspire.

On the RAWChallenges.com website, you can view the trip calendar and register for the most eco-friendly travel experience possible.

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