Essentially, green or sustainable travel is synonymous with eco-friendly traveling. This can be a challenge sometimes! The very definition of travel suggests that we all leave a big charcoal smudge in our wake. It’s unavoidable – our flights spew carbon emissions, our accommodations use gallons of laundry and shower water, and to stay hydrated, a great many of us use plastic water bottles.
Are you feeling guilty yet? Well, try not to. Because there are conscious things you can do lift the blemish we constantly impart on our Mother Earth. Being conscious of ‘greener mobility’ can have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint as you travel throughout California. Here are some top tips you can practice while visiting the Golden State.
Take public transportation whenever possible. Hitch a ride on a bus, subway, ferry or light rail system. This not only helps reduce your carbon footprint, it is also much less expensive than renting a car. Actually, California has one of the best public transport systems and Seattle is ranked at the best city for transport in the entire country.
However, California is by definition the dream state for some iconic road trips: from the Pacific Coast Highway to Route 66, or just a leisurely tour around the Napa Valley. A car or bike would be your best mean of mobility for the occasion. In this case, consider renting an electric car. Most rental car companies offer electrical vehicles. Just make sure you plan your route in advance to take into account the locations of charging stations and charging points.
Cycling in California is a singular experience. Exploring downtown Seattle, biking to the Golden Gate Bridge or just blending in with the sporty crowd on Santa Monica beach. And guess what, you can even do cycling wine tours around the Napa Vally.
Consider taking a train to your destination. Yes, this may take longer than a flight, but if you can manage it, trains are the most efficient mode of transportation, over planes and automobiles. If you are touring more than one location in California, consider taking The Coastal Starlight, which runs from Seattle, down through San Francisco and Los Angeles, all the way to San Diego. It is operated by Amtrak and is a great way to travel from city to city. The scenery along this route cannot be beat. Alternatively you can tour with the California Zephyr and the Napa Valey Wine Train.
And last but not least, pick destinations closer to home or a travel base, or cities that make sustainability a priority. The U.S. National Parks, Alaska, and cities such as Portland, OR and San Francisco, CA have led the charge in this area, and have more to offer visitors to stay green.