Holidays are the most traveled days of the year, and many of us find ourselves stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic when we’d rather be home and having second helpings of the feast. Whether you’re just heading to a friend’s house for dessert or traveling across the country to see your family, here are a few ideas to help you save money and travel efficiently.
When you’re driving, do what you can to remain calm and drive carefully. Aggressive driving can lower your highway miles per gallon (MPG) by 33%, and city MPG by 5%! Performing vehicle maintenance prior to driving, like changing your oil and properly inflating your tires, can also greatly improve the efficiency of your vehicle. Greater efficiency means less fuel is consumed.
If you’re traveling by air, pack lightly or just carry one bag on the plane. Any extra weight causes an airplane to lose efficiency and use more fuel to travel. You can also purchase inexpensive carbon offsets to help mitigate the impact of your air travel. Calculate your carbon footprint with the Carbon Calculator by Conservation International, and they’ll tell you how much it will cost to offset your travel!
Avoid crowds and high-traffic roadways to reduce your carbon impact and save money. Traveling on off-peak days can save you hundreds of dollars at the airport or prevent you from sitting in traffic on congested highways. Put your vacation time to good use by traveling off-peak; you'll save time, money, and have a little time to relax before you go back to work. Need another reason to take more time off? Americans lose a half billion vacation days every year - don't lose your well-earned time off!
And, it should go without saying, but... Don’t drink and drive. This may not seem like a tip that has anything to do with the environment, but it does! Share cabs with your friends, hire a party bus or nominate a designated driver to take a group to and from the festivities. By acting responsibly and encouraging your fellow travelers to do so, not only will you prevent accidents but you’ll lower your carbon impact by reducing the number of vehicles on the road.
Need carpooling resources? Want to find a ride share group near you? Try erideshare.com! If you want to learn even more about getting there greener, EarthShare member Union of Concerned Scientists' Green Travel FAQ will help.
If you have your own great ideas for keeping making holiday travel eco-friendly, we want to hear from you! Comment below or email us at email@example.com to share.
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