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

Preparations before you leave

  1. Travel is the main environmental impact of most long distance events: do you want to contribute to the planning by coordinating carpools?

    Find carpool or transit buddies now.

    Ask the planner if anyone is coming from your area. Can you carpool -- even just carpool to and from the airport? For small events, let the planner know that carpooling can be coordinated on Evite or using a bulletin board, a shared Google spreadsheet, or by using a keyword on Craigslist (telling everyone to type "GG wedding" in their carpool post, and to search for that exact spelling.) For events with hundreds or thousands of attendees, send the organizers to Spaceshare if they need help planning carpools or another carpool planning organization. more »Pack light and fill every seat! Or better -- see if you can find friends and take a bus or train. Can you make a shared bus or train trip part of the celebration?

  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 event that you don't need to rent a vehicle... or talk to the organizer about staying with others and carpooling from your hotel.
    • 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. 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."