Going Green While on Vacation


It’s time to starting thinking about a vacation. Whether you’re traveling with or without your car, consider some of these energy saving tips. They can save you money, but also save the environment as well.

Pack lightly. Every additional ten pounds of baggage per traveler requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year, which is enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for ten years. In addition, consider how much you really need to take with you. There are lots of tutorials on youtube or pinterest on how to pack light. Consider that the less you pack, the less you have to carry around for the duration of your vacation.

Car rentals. Try a hybrid car or a more fuel-efficient vehicle. A hybrid rental can go three times as far as a standard sedan on the same amount of gas. There are 1.7 million rental cars in the United States. If every one were a hybrid, more than nine million gallons of gasoline would be saved – per fill-up.

Try a hybrid taxi. If the entire New York City taxi fleet were converted to hybrids, the result in terms of reduced exhaust emissions would be the equivalent of taking twenty-four thousand cars off the road. Therefore, if you are hailing a taxi, or calling an uber or lyft look for a hybrid vehicle.

Use online maps or a GPS system instead of paper maps. Map paper is particularly difficult, sometimes impossible, to recycle because of all the ink used. If you’ve got old maps, reuse them as gift wrapping instead of just throwing them out. Don’t purchase (or pick up free) maps if at all possible.

It's time to starting thinking about a vacation. If you're traveling without your car, consider some of these energy saving tips. Click To Tweet
                                                                      -- the green book
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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Robin Malta on February 21, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Great article about going green. We really need this to help our environment.

    • Janet Schiesl on February 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Thanks Robin. You can still be “green” while on vacation.

  2. Janet Barclay on April 8, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    These are great tips. A lot of people splurge when they’re on vacation, and might not pause to think about the environmental impact of their choices.

  3. Janet Schiesl on April 8, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    I agree. When on vacation everything changes from your norm and you may sometimes forget some simple things you can do to help the environment.

  4. Andrea Sharb on April 17, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Just got back from vacation and am appreciating your tips. Fascinating statistic about the airline industry and one more reason to limit yourself to a carryon no matter how long the trip. A couple of the cities I’ve visited recently have converted most of the taxi fleets to hybrids and the house car at the last hotel I stayed at was a Tesla. Nice to see the travel industry making some changes that have a positive impact on the environment.

    • Janet Schiesl on April 17, 2019 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Andrea. I’d like to see a lot more environmental friendly changes that would make it easier, because it’s hard to know what to do when you are visiting a new place. If options were stated then I think a lot of people would take advantage of the opportunities.

  5. Seana Turner on June 22, 2020 at 8:41 am

    We don’t have any vacation plans this year, given the craziness of all that is going on. That said, I have become more environmentally aware and conscious, so I think it makes sense to extend this awareness to my behavior when traveling. One thing I’ve started doing is taking my own empty water bottle. It is easy to fill, and saves a lot of plastic.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 22, 2020 at 5:59 pm

      I am going to the beach with family this summer. But it will certainly be different. No going out to eat, no swimming at the pool. I’ve done something similar when I travel by air. I purchase a water at the airport and use it the whole vacation.

  6. Linda Samuels on June 22, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I’m a bit sad that we won’t be taking a vacation this summer. The pandemic has put all plans on hold. Even so, I love your “green” vacation tips. One of the things I’ve noticed is how much fun it is to travel with less. Not only does it save the environment (as you explained,) but it also makes it simpler to dress and keep track of things.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 22, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      I also like traveling with less. I’ve been studying capsule wardrobes for travel on Pinterest. Now I just need a vacation to use what I’ve learned.

  7. Amy on June 23, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Packing light means less time re-packing. I’ve watched friends and family spend their entire last day of vacation repacking their suitcases.

    • Janet Schiesl on June 24, 2020 at 8:55 am

      I agree. I try to just use a carry-on bag, unless me trip if going to be longer than a week.

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