Traveler's guide. Event: conference. Stage: before.

Tips for Before You Leave

  1. Travel averages 80% of your environmental impact!

    Shared Travel.

    For business travel many people just fly. If you can find an alternative, it will make a huge environmental impact. Can you enjoy taking the train or driving by finding others going to the same conference? If a car is involved -- whether you drive, rent a car or take a taxi, consider carpooling and check your tire pressure. Hopefully the event will coordinate carpooling -- send the organizers to Spaceshare if they need help planning carpools, or look for rides on Craig's List.

  2. Room Choices

    Besides looking for a hotel that is already reasonably green, two simple steps can make your trip much greener:

    • Stay close enough to the conference that you don't need to rent a vehicle.
    • Ask the hotel for what you want. Participate in towel and linen reuse, and let the hotel know that your idea of luxury means guilt-free and green.
  3. Pack your mug or water bottle but pack light!

    Avoid plastics!

    Bring what you need so you don't have to buy disposables on-site, but balance that against packing light to keep your vehicle's fuel efficiency higher -- especially important when flying. Simple living is doubly beneficial when you're traveling!

  4. Before you walk out the door:

    Shutting all the lights isn't enough, unplug all appliances at home before you leave. Older TVs, many appliance chargers and other devices keep running even when they're "off."
    Download conference materials if available online to reduce paper waste.

  5. Consider food choices.

    Look up organic and vegetarian restaurants in the area.