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The best ways to travel green

As the importance and need for sustainability grows, many businesses have begun taking action to reduce their carbon footprints and environmental impact. As traveling is a large part of most business ventures, the demand for eco-friendly travel options has continued to increase. Even though businesses are making more of an effort to pursue green travel plans and options, they often aren’t sure where to begin. Here is a list of ideas that can help businesses, and individuals, incorporate sustainability when traveling around the world:

Necessity: First make sure that a business trip is absolutely necessary. With the marvels of modern technology and great services such as Skype, GoToMeeting and Google+, it’s easy to utilize time and money with face-to-face meetings, even if you’re miles away, without ever leaving the office.

Public Transportation: Taking the subway, including to and from the airport, is a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Subways are fast and accessible and are conveniently located in most cities. Plus it saves money, as subway fare often costs far less than renting a car.

Hybrids/Eco-Friendly vehicles: If you happen to land in a location where public transportation is not readily available, many cities now flooded with hybrid taxis, and renting a hybrid car is also an easy way to save money on gas and reduce environmental impact.

Air Travel: As airplane travel produces 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, choosing an airline that is environmentally conscious can help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Germany’s Lufthansa and Air Canada have both made significant strides in obtaining a carbon-neutral status. If your choice of airline is limited, think about purchasing environmental credits to offset your plane travel emissions.

Lodging: Before booking a hotel room, research hotels that are implementing green initiatives. There is a growing trend in the hospitality world to go green, so these hotels shouldn’t be hard to find. If a certified green hotel isn’t in the cards, be conscious of your actions during your stay—opt out of every day linen and towel washing, during a short stay choose to decline room cleaning and remember to turn the lights off when you leave your room.

Dining: While most of your meals might be eaten on the run, if you have time to sit down look for restaurants, in your hotel or otherwise, that have implemented sustainable methods. Many restaurants these days will advertise where they’ve gotten their food, so choose dishes that feature locally, seasonally grown and organic ingredients to help reduce your carbon footprint and fill your belly.

While it’s not always easy to travel green, it’s important to make the effort to fly, lodge and eat as sustainability as possible to help save the environment and make our world a better place. To learn more about how businessmen and women are traveling green, read an interesting Financial Post article here.