Beige world globe in a room

Photo courtesy of Andrew Neel/​Unsplash

When it comes to traveling, it really has never been easier to go green. From cars that don’t use a drop of gas to hotels that run on clean energy, there are plenty of ways to go on a vacation and help the planet in the process. 

Vacation season is starting to ramp up now that summer is on the way, and that means more cars on the road, more planes in the air, and more resources that are being used to take people from point A to point B. To minimize the environmental impact (and have a lot of fun), here are five surprisingly easy ideas to make your summer vacation a lot greener. 

Book a Trip that Helps Animals and the Environment

Agritourism is huge right now, and that means that you can literally build helping the environment into your summer vacation. No matter what your interests and abilities are, we pretty much guarantee that if you want to plan a vacation where you’ll be personally make a difference in the world, you’ll be able to find a destination. Go on a sustainable tour of the Amazon where you’ll aid conservation programs in the rainforest. Book a long weekend at a nearby farm stay where you can pull on your boots and help harvest organic vegetables. Or, you can even stay at an animal rescue that provides accommodations and lots of volunteer opportunities. 

Consider Renting an Electric or Hybrid Car

Several rental car companies have started offering electric and hybrid car rentals, which means you can rest easy knowing you won’t be adding to summer travel emissions. Just be sure to plan your road trip according to charging stations along the way, and ideally, book a hotel where you can charge your car overnight. 

Stay at a Sustainable Hotel

More and more hotels have been making the decision to meet green standards and attain eco-friendly certifications, which makes a lot of sense considering the amount of resources a hotel has to use every day. Nowadays, there are more green hotel options than ever, with hotels that are turning to forms of renewable energy, instating linen reuse programs, reducing food waste, and including recycling bins in rooms and common areas. To be absolutely sure before booking, look on the hotel website or call and ask about any green certifications the hotel has. 

Pack a Little Lighter 

Experts in the flight industry say that the number one way to reduce environmental impact while flying is to simply pack less. The strain of heavy baggage on a plane can force it to use even more fuel. Be sure to check your airline’s weight requirements, and then try to hit a number that’s under it. Or, you can choose to skip packing a suitcase altogether and only bring along carry-on. 

Include Natural Travel-Sized Products

Natural personal care products help the environment by not releasing chemicals into the atmosphere, and they’re a lot better for your body, too. When you pack for your summer trip, be sure to include natural, travel-sized versions of sunscreen, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, and deodorant. Your skin, the environment, and your back (no need to lug around those giant bottles!) will definitely thank you. 

Articles from The Natural should not be considered medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult a medical professional.