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This Tiny Electric Bike Delivers 80 Miles of Efficient, Eco-Friendly Travel

Eventually, the time will come when mankind can fully replace archaic foot-powered bicycles with the electric variety. Boxx Corporations clearly wants the same thing, as their stylish take on charged two-wheel travel is getting ready to roll into production, along with making the necessary rounds on the trade show and exhibition circuits. For a cool $3995 and some change, you can buy one of the first models and even slap a coat of “hot rod” red paint on your new eco-friendly ride.

In fact, it might be more accurate to call the Boxx a miniature electric motorcycle instead of an electric bicycle. According to the specs, it tops out at a pretty speedy 35 miles per hour, which is just fast enough to get you a ticket in most city areas. Considering that the entire thing’s only a meter tall, that’s pretty good speed in relation to the Boxx’s diminutive size. Speaking of which, it’s apparently a lot sturdier than it looks despite being so small — the Boxx’s aluminum build can support even the bulkiest drivers, up to 300 pounds of weight. Then again, weighing 300 pounds might be a good excuse to get out the old “foot pedal” bicycle anyway.

As Red Ferret notes, the real attraction for the Boxx is most likely the fact that you can easily store it inside your office cubicle or home. That’s a notable step up from mopeds, which have to sit outside and face the elements, although we can’t imagine that hunching over an even smaller vehicle is any cooler. Surprisingly, it also packs in features that you’d expect from a larger motorized gadget, such as onboard storage, all-wheel drive, and even an auto-braking system.

Of course, that 80-mile running length is only applicable if you pony up the cash for the optional “Core 2” modular power system, which boosts the price above 4500 dollars. And if you’re just feeling crazy about it, Boxx Corp can even throw in a one-hour charging unit and 3-year warranty for a little (well, a lot of) extra cash. If you want to get in on the Boxx early so you can ride to work in expensive-yet-eye-catching style, the developer’s taking orders right over here.

Article excerpted from www.pcworld.com

11 Tips and Tricks for Greening your Hotel Stay

Let’s face it, as much as we love camping, hostels, and eco-lodges sometimes a hotel is the most reasonable option. Luckily, even when staying at the least environmentally-friendly hotel you have a lot of control over your environmental impact. Here are 11 of our favorite tips and tricks for being a little friendlier to Mother Earth during your next hotel stay:

  1. Unplug, unplug, unplug. The first thing you should do when you walk into a hotel room is unplug. 5 lamps? Unplug 4. Mini-fridge? Unless you’ve brought a turkey and mayo sandwich, unplug. Coffee maker? Unplug. Hair dryer? Unplug. Appliances drain energy even when they’re not on. If you just spend 2 minutes unplugging items you will already have made a difference.

    photo credit: trekkyandy

  2. Hang your towel. In my experience housekeeping is haphazard in their pledge to “save the environment one towel at a time.” Most times I hang the towel and come back later to find they’ve replaced it anyway; but about 50% of the time they leave it for me.
  3. Move the soap. An easy trick to reduce your waste is to bring the bar of soap with you to the shower when you shower and leave it by the sink the rest of the time. Seriously, when was the last time you used two full bars of soap at a hotel? (Or even one full bar?)
  4. Stick the “Do not Disturb” on your door. Or just call housekeeping and tell them you won’t need their services during your stay. To prevent the hotel from wasting water by changing your sheets and towels, wasting electricity by vacuuming, and spraying harsh chemicals all over your toothbrush, just ask them to refrain from cleaning your room during your stay.
  5. Adjust the thermostat. By lowering the temperature by 2 degrees in the winter or raising it by 2 in the summer you will save a lot of energy. And you won’t notice the difference.
  6. When you leave the room turn everything off:
    • Lights
    • TV
    • Thermostat (if the weather is mild)
  7. Flush less frequently. No need to flush every time. Practice the “if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow” rule.
  8. Bring your own toiletries. I personally know the pains of the 3 oz of liquids on planes rule. A liter of genuine, carried-back-from-Ireland Whiskey was confiscated from us on a 6 am flight the day the emergency (and now permanent) rule came down. True story. But think of all of the plastics that are used to create tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner. And all of the extra packaging in luxury hotel items. Plus, by bringing your own shampoo you can prevent a bad hair day from bad shampoo.
  9. Take shorter showers. Sometimes a long, hot shower feels incredible. But do you need that every day? The average US shower head spits out about 2.5 gallons per minute, which means in a 15 minute shower you use nearly 40 gallons of water. Yikes!
  10. Leave the pen (and other freebies) behind. I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for free pens. Even the crappy ones that explode in my purse on the airplane ride home. Do the earth a favor and leave these items behind.
  11. Recycle. Find out if the hotel recycles. If they do, ask if they separate it out from waste-bins. If they don’t, take your free USA Today and empty cans and bottles and toss them in an extra pocket in your suitcase to recycle later. They weigh almost nothing.

Article excerpted from www.gogreentravelgreen.com

What tips or tricks do you have that help you be a (more) responsible hotel-goer? It takes less than 5 minutes only to do the above, go green to protect this earth.

31 Reasons to Travel Green: In Pictures

Every green traveler has those days where she just wants to give up. Pollution, global warming, bad environmental policy decisions – how much of a difference can one person really make?

We’re launching our 25 Days to Green Travel series with photos that remind us why traveling green – and living green – matters. We’re going with the “a picture is worth a thousand words” concept. All of these images except one are from Flickr, many from amateur photographers. No matter what shade of green traveler you are, I hope these photos motivate you to keep traveling green. As I searched for these photos, I was reminded over and over that our travel decisions don’t just affect us; they affect people and wildlife across the world, and they will for generations to come.

The post wraps up with some truly amazing photos of beautiful places, people, and creatures around the world, so stick through the depressing photos to the end and you’ll be rewarded.

The Bad

Destruction of Wildlife


Oiled bird from Black Sea oil spill. photo credit: marinephotobank


Polar bear on melted ice near Barents Island, Norway. © Arne Naevra


Dead fish in a polluted riverbed, Buenos Aires, Argentina. photo credit: blmurch

Global Warming


Exposed coral reef in Gili Meno, Indonesia. photo credit: yeowatzup


Fragment of a melted iceberg. photo credit: nick_russill


Floating iceberg chunk in Patagonia. photo credit: lrargerich


Melting icebergs in Jökulsárlón, Iceland. photo credit: csproete

Water Pollution


Polluted river in Cambodia. photo credit: davilla


Man finding plastic bags in River Yamuna in Delhi, India. photo credit: Koshyk


Metal barrel in a green river. photo credit: jantik

Air Pollution


Taj Mahal choking in early morning smog. photo credit: mshandro


Beijing smog. photo credit: diggingforfire


ir pollution in Nova Scotia. photo credit: ojbyrne


Car pollution in Cremona, Italy. photo credit: Simone Ramella


Mexico City smog. photo credit: arndw


Los Angeles, California smog. photo credit: cwsteeds


Santiago, Chile smog. photo credit: philliecasablanca


One way to avoid breathing polluted air in Tehran. photo credit: kamshots


Plane pollution, Anywhere. photo credit: mshades

Forest Destruction


Deforestation in Guatemala. photo credit: Pati’s Moment in Time


Deforestation in the Amazon. photo credit: dgidsicki


Deforestation in Wakayama, Japan. photo credit: T.Hagihara

Waste


Electronics waste in China from the Western World. photo credit: art_es_anna


Chinese baby surround by electronics parts from the Western World. photo credit: art_es_anna

The Good

Preserve the Sites and Wildlife


Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. photo credit: atomicpuppy68


Mountains in Brienz, Switzerland. photo credit: pilou


Elephants in Kenya. photo credit: wildcat_dunny


Moose in Alaska. photo credit: Paul Resh

Support the Local Economy and Way of Life


Fish vendor in Seoul, South Korea. photo credit: neaners


Indian street vendor. photo credit: utpal.

Article excerpted from www.gogreentravelgreen.com

All the pictures above have speak a thousand words. The pollution will getting worst if we still haven’t aware of it and no action is taken.  Let’s do our part when we travel to other countries so that others can enjoy the amazing view as well.

5 Tips for Finding Vegetarian on the Road

This post is by contributing author Lauren Fritsky of The Life that Broke.

As a proud Iowan, I’m a lover of red meat; so, when I’m on the road backpacking, my biggest challenge is finding a steak that can compare with good, Iowa beef. Contributing author Lauren Fritsky has a different problem: finding vegetarian food while traveling the world. Check out these five tips for finding veg-friendly food on your next backpacking adventure.

“Do you have a vegetarian option?”

As someone who doesn’t eat red meat or pork and dates a straight-up vegetarian, I’ve heard a range of laughable responses to this question — everything from:

“Yes, we have fish” to “Just take the ham off.”

Sigh.

If you’re tired of dealing with similar confusion from servers who think that vegetarian means that if the meat’s white, it’s alright, try these tips for actually finding food you can eat on the road.

1. Find restaurants online

Anyone who has stood on a street corner in Asia and watched a shop owner kill a live animal might seriously doubt that vegetarian cuisine is possible in all parts of the world. But it is! Sites like Happy Cow let you plug in your destination and eating preferences to find restaurants around the world.

Veggies on the Road is another resource listing eateries across the globe that offer at least three vegetarian dishes. If you have some semblance of an itinerary, look up your next destination and print out the list of vegetarian and/or vegan restaurants these sites. Don’t forget to smile as you walk away from the cleaver-wielding shop owner to your plate of mock chicken with veggies.

2. Say it right

Some people are unsure of what vegetarian really means. The same goes in foreign lands where definitions for the practice may differ and language barriers can make it difficult to find what you want. This resource from the International Vegetarian Union supplies key phrases in many languages to help you find veggo on the road.

You can also use the Veggie Passport iPhone app to translate your food preferences into 33 languages.

So the next time you’re in the Czech Republic, you can confidently ask “Mate take nejaka vegetarianska jidla?”

3. Get aPPetizing

Speaking of apps, you’ll never go hungry looking for vegetarian or vegan food again if you have an iPhone. Apps like VegOut and VeganSteven let you find restaurants near you and even pull up the menus.

4. Don’t eat at local restaurants

Weird tip, huh?

If you’re having trouble eating meatless at the local restaurants, try hotel dining areas — even if you’re not staying there — and pubs.

Many people don’t think to try and dine at accommodations they haven’t booked into, but the public is free to eat at places like Marriot. Hotel menus often have a wider variety of options than some of the local eateries, including vegetarian, depending where you are in the world.

Pubs might also have bar menus full of non-meat fare. Even if you have to build your dinner by ordering a baked potato, side salad and hummus with bread, it’s better than nothing.

5. Eat what you want, where you want

Did you know that Minnesota actually has a law allowing anyone on a restricted diet to take their own food into any restaurant and eat it right there? Individuals can also ask the wait staff to heat up their food in the oven or microwave.

It’s worth checking if areas you’re traveling to have similar laws.

Even if they don’t, other vegetarian travelers have had success asking restaurants to heat up or cook their tofu, rice or veggies. Sweetness will take you a long way here, so be polite and overly thankful if you’re accommodated. Convenience store microwaves are another option for heating up your homemade or store-bought vegetarian meal if you find an obliging clerk.

Depending on where your travels lead you, you might always have to stay on your toes to find vegetarian. But a little Internet and iPhone savvy plus some local know-how should keep you up to your elbows in tofu from Tampa to Tokyo.

What are your tips for finding vegetarian on the road?

Article excerpted from www.backpackingmatt.com

Go Green or Go Home: Tips for Being Eco-Friendly on the Road

This is a post by contributing author Lauren Fritsky of TheLifeThatBroke.com (@LaurenFritsky).

Using eco-friendly products, recycling and eating locally-grown food can be easy — at home. Yet if you’re on a RTW trip backpacking in Thailand, Sydney or Vancouver, you might find it difficult to keep up with your environmentally-conscious lifestyle. To help you stay green while backpacking around the world, we asked some globetrotters for their tips on staying green on the road.

Check out these green travel tips from some travelers in the know…

Creative Commons: MikeBehnken

Christine Amorose of C’est Christine

“I try to minimize my carbon footprint by limiting my use of plastic whenever I can. Instead of using plastic shopping bags at markets or shops, I use my Chico Bag. It’s lightweight and small enough to fit in my purse every day — and doubles as a beach bag or picnic basket when necessary. Instead of constantly purchasing plastic bottled water, I just fill up my stainless steel Klean Kanteen with cold tap water.”

Lara Dunston of Gran Tourismo

“When my husband and I travel, we will always choose a holiday rental over a hotel if we can — and primarily for ‘green’ reasons. By staying in an everyday house/apartment, we’re using an existing resource and one that uses a lot less energy than a hotel, so we’re leaving a smaller environmental footprint. We will recycle if we can, re-use our towels, and not waste food — all things that hotels make difficult to do!

We’re also contributing to a local community, shopping at local markets and using local businesses, and we’ll always buy local, seasonal produce rather than imported products, so all in all it’s a much more sustainable and responsible way to travel.”

Creative Commons: The Wandering Angel

Caroline Eubanks of Caroline in the City

“I’ve been using the same knockoff Nalgene water bottle for the last probably five years. It’s good to refill before a flight instead of spending $5 on one you will throw away. I’ve also stored my toothbrush inside so it doesn’t get dirty, as well as filling it with boiling water to keep my bed warm. Multi-purpose!”

Ben Lancaster of Amateurs in Africa

“Pay a little more. It’s not much difference in price, but using accredited local tour guides makes a huge difference to the sustainability of the local tourism industry and the local communities you’re visiting. The guides are also way better and funnier. Fact.

Unfortunately with limited infrastructure for processing waste, packaging from Western manufactured products is an issue [in Africa]. As such, you’ll often see rubbish being thrown into the streets due to a lack of knowledge and understanding — lead by example and hold on to your waste until you find a bin. Also, ask companies what they are doing to help combat the issue in communities from which they are profiting.”

Lindsey Tramuta from Lost in Cheeseland

“I think one of the best ways to maintain a green lifestyle during travel, aside from choosing means of transportation that will keep your carbon footprint to a minimum (trains, public buses, hybrid vehicles, etc.), is to immediately seek out local recycling centers upon arrival at your destination. If necessary, ask locals where you can recycle plastics, glass, paper and other products to not only maintain the eco-habits you practice at home but to respect the environment you are visiting.”

Nicole Schwab of Chasingwonderlust

“When I travel, I would say that the most ‘green’ thing I usually do is take public transportation and/or walk most places I go. I usually try to see most places on foot for a number of reasons. First of all, I think that’s the best way to get to know a place & discover things you might otherwise miss. Also, it gives me a bit of exercise to work off all the calories I typically eat when I’m on holiday!”

Article excerpted from www.backpackingmatt.com

Green Ideas: Tips For Eco-Friendly Travel

Assuming your vacation is more than just a hike, you’re going to be making a carbon footprint.

That doesn’t mean you should skip your next trip though. In fact, most environmentalists agree that traveling helps raise crucial awareness and appreciation of the earth.

Whether you love to drive your Hummer, or you’re happy to pedal your bike, take these simple eco-friendly tips to change your habits while on the go.

Before You Leave
All transportation requires the combustion of fuel, so the greenest thing you can do is use public transport. When possible, take the train or bus instead of flying. If you’re driving, try to get as many people in the car as possible, instead of taking multiple vehicles.

If you have to fly, book direct.

“Taking off and landing requires a tremendous amount of fuel, so flying direct is greener than making stop-overs,” explained TreeHugger and PlanetGreen.com editor, Meaghan O’Neill.

Before you leave the house, be sure to adjust your heating and cooling systems. Unplug all of your appliances and chargers.

O’Neill warned that many electronics, even while on standby, still use a huge amount of so-called vampire energy. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that vampire energy waste accounts for five percent of total electronic consumption in the United States.

Anything that recharges will continue to suck power out of the walls after they’re charged. Plasma TV’s, microwaves and chargers are the biggest culprits.

What to Take With You
Travel-size packages might seem quick and convenient, but all that extra packaging takes a heavy toll on the environment. O’Neill recommends filling re-usable containers with the products you need instead of buying additional sundries.

Take a water bottle with you. It’s difficult to find a recycling option when you’re on the go. And besides, plastic does not biodegrade. If and whenever possible, take your re-usable version with you. Many models even have a handy carry strap too!

Travel light and take only what you need. This will make it easier to take public transportation and get around. Hopefully, there will even be room left over to bring home souvenirs, which are an important contribution to local economies.

Where To Go
Regardless of where you go, choose environmentally-friendly accommodations. New green hotels and resorts, from the bare bones to eco-luxury, are rapidly popping up around the world. Check out the “Green” Hotels Association for more ideas.

Seek out destinations that practice geo-tourism. Geo-tourism, according to National Geographic, is “tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place — its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.” So far National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations has already signed geo-tourism charters with Honduras, Norway, Romania, the Cook Islands, Arizona, Rhode Island, Montreal, Guatemala and Senora, Mexico, and is busily signing up more.

The Center for Sustainable Tourism also offers environmental scorecards. Click here how to find out how your next vacation spot ranks.

Bennett also encouraged travelers to “re-invest” in locations and avoid “drive-by tourism.”

“Slow down and invest in a single destination,” he said. Rather than spending two days in three different cities, choose one stop and experience it more fully.

On the Road
“Don’t check you green habits when you check in,” O’Neill said. Just because you might be staying in a hotel, you still need to remember to turn off the lights when you leave the room, turn off the air conditioning and not waste food.

Once you’re there, walk instead of hiring a car. Check if your hotel has a shuttle or try public transportation. If you have to rent, ask for a hybrid. O’Neill also recommended Zipcar.

Reuse your towels and sheets whenever possible.

“Hotels use a huge amount of energy for laundry,” explained green blogger Olivia Zaleski.

She also recommended letting your hotel know you’re grateful they offer greener service and encouraging those places that don’t yet have a re-use option to adopt one.

Think about your impact once you get there.

“Try to minimize extractive activities and emphasize ones that help bolster the local culture,” said Paul Bennett, a founder of Context Travel, an environmentally conscious travel agency.

For example, eating at a small mom-and-pop establishment is much better for the local economy than going to McDonald’s.

When You Get Home
Once you’re back at home, even if you feel you’ve treaded lightly, there’s still more you can do.

“Offsetting your flight is a quick and easy way to green your trip,” Bennett said.

The basic idea is to compensate for your carbon footprint by enabling an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas by donating a carbon offset coupon. Options range from investing in wind energy to planting trees. Prices range accordingly depending on the scheme.

Bennett also recommended re-investing in your favorite destinations to ensure their future.

“Look for charities or foundations that invest in the place and medicate the impact of tourism on it,” he said. “Make a donation, or volunteer to help on your next trip.”

Article excerpted from www.abcnews.go.com

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