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RISMEDIA, Jan. 18, 2008-Simply put, green travel is travel in which a positive environmental impact is kept to a maximum and a negative environmental impact is kept to a minimum. Keeping your carbon footprint as tiny as possible while traveling will help preserve the entire planet, including that favorite vacation spot you always visit. That being said, traveling green sounds like something any traveler would be interested in, right? Right. But although many travelers may be interested in green travel it can seem a little intimidating or complicated… not everyone knows where to start.

RezHub.com put together a Green Travel Plan that makes traveling green easy for anyone, no matter what their shade of green. What’s even better is you don’t have to camp out in the jungle or hike from place to place to make an impact (unless of course, that’s what you’re into). Remember, every little bit counts and following any or all of these steps will add up to a world of change.

A Green Travel Plan for Everyone and Every Trip

Before You Go:

One way to be a part of the solution by booking through sites such as RezHub.com’s Green Travel Hub. They’ll donate 20% of the revenue to an environmental group so that every trip can make a difference. They’ll donate whether the travel you choose is labeled green or not.

When renting a car, choose Enterprise. They not only have the largest selection of hybrid and fuel efficient cars available for rent, they also take huge steps for the Environment. They’ve pledged to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years, they donate millions to alternative fuel research, and the list goes on.

Look for hotels with a “Green Score.” While some hotels may only have one leaf, keep in mind that even one leaf is a step in the right direction. It’s important to support the green efforts that each hotel takes because it shows management that they are doing the right thing, and it encourages further expansion of green programs. Remember, where one leaf sprouts, another is sure to follow!

Offset your Carbon Footprint. Choosing to go carbon neutral is one of the gateways to responsible travel. It’s easy to do, and it’s inexpensive!

While You’re There:

Plan to green-up your stay, and feel good about where you’re going. These are some really simple steps you can take to help green up your stay:

• Encourage the hotel you chose to go green or thank them for the green programs that they participate in! Speak with the management and let them know that green options are important to you.
• If your hotel has a sheets and towels reuse program, use it. If they don’t, start your own! Let housekeeping know that you don’t need them to replace your sheets and towels every day; this will reduce energy and water usage.
• Turn off the lights, air conditioner or heater, and the electronics in your room while
you’re out.
• Turn off the water when you brush your teeth, and take shorter showers.
• Bring your own toiletries, or if you use what the hotel provides make sure to take what’s leftover home with you.

Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints…

• When you’re visiting a park or any natural setting, don’t disturb the plants or wildlife.
• Never buy anything made from an endangered animal or plant.
• Make sure you save any trash until you find a garbage can, and wherever possible save your recyclables for a recycling drop-off. Check out http://www.earth911.org to find a recycling drop off center in the US.

Go local…

• Whenever you can, shop and buy from the local vendors. This helps support the local economy, and submerges you in the areas culture.
• Try to avoid the large chains that carry goods shipped in from overseas. All that shipping creates tons of CO2 and the large chains can push the locals out of business (if you wanted to shop at Wal-Mart you could’ve stayed home, right?) .

Give back…

• Consider volunteering some time on your trip. Spending even just one day volunteering makes a difference. Contact not-profit organizations in the area and set something up before you go.

When You Get Home:

Write a letter or send an e-mail to the hotel you stayed in, the airline you flew and the rental car company you chose. Thank them for going green or encourage them to do so.

Keep these tips in mind while you’re at home too, conserving resources almost always saves you green in the long run. And remember, it really is true that every little bit counts. If each of us took just one of these steps, imagine the difference it would make. Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

For more information, visit www.RezHub.com.

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