As per the December/January issue of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel magazine. I already do a couple of these, and most are really just common sense, but it doesn't always jump out at you to do them:
1. Electric devices drain energy even when not in use, so before you leave home, unplug your computer, appliances and TVs. Also, adjust your thermostat and lower your hot water heater.
2. Consider the train instead a short-haul flight. If you must fly, go with direct flights if you can. Take off and landings account for a large portion of fuel use and emissions.
3. Forget disposable products; no single-use camera and take out meals with wasteful packaging. Refill a water bottle from a fountain.
4. Borrow and lend with friends the seldom-used travel gear – tents, beach chairs and voltage converters. Offer guidebooks to other travelers or leave them at the hotel for future guests. Souvenirs that look kitschy and fun on the shelf often end up in landfills.
5. Ask your waiter what’s local and choose something produced nearby instead of something that had to be trucked or flown in.
6. Treat your hotel room like it’s your own house – turn off the lights and lower the air when you leave.
7. Let the hotel staff know that you are okay reusing your towels and sheets a few days in a row.
8. Ditch the car – walking, riding a bike, and taking public transportation are all better than driving.
9. Use rechargeable gadgets that have less environmental impact than ones that require disposable batteries.
10. Hotels, resorts, airlines and tour companies actually do read customer comment cards. Take a moment to let them know how you feel about their recycling programs (or lack thereof).