Let's Go Travel Guides Share Green Vacation Tips

From sleeping in dormant volcano craters to choosing a more eco-friendly laundry detergent, Let's Go's green travel ideas help readers see the world more sustainably—and make a difference in the places they visit.

Eco-friendly travel tips:

Go Green. Take advantage of Werfenwang’s Soft Mobility program in Austria: For €5 you receive a prepaid mobile phone and access to a free, solar-powered taxi service for one week, day and night — just for abstaining from using a car.

Sleep Green. The Hedonisia Hostel on the Big Island of Hawaii (13-657 Hinalo St., Pahoa; 808-430-2545) offers accommodations so green they’d make even Al Gore blush. Located in the crater of a jungle volcano, this hostel is famous for its eco-friendly “Toilet with a Garden” and offers rooms made from recycled sewn-together tents and a modified school bus (romantically called the “Love Bus”). It’s kind of like living in a commune, but without the cult-ish commitment.

Grow Green. Volunteer at one of the many World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms sites. From picking grapes in France’s wine country to apples in America, the program guarantees an unforgettable experience. Visit www.wwoof.org for details and locations.

Teach Green. Volunteer can help with dolphin research in Kenya through Global Vision International ( www.gviusa.com). For two weeks, participants scuba dive off of the coast of the Shimoni peninsula and help with identification, tagging, and raising awareness for dolphins.

Ski Green. To ski without the nagging eco-guilt, stay at Norway’s Mjølfjell Youth Hostel (5700 Voss, Mjølfjell; 0047 56 52 31 50): The electric generator that keeps the lodge and ski lifts running gets its power from the nearby Raundal River. Beds go for around $50 per night; the views and rustic setting are well worth the price.

Save Some Green by Packing Green. Heavy bags weigh down airplanes and waste fuel (and cost money to check), so pack a single backpack with a few items of clothing and a small bottle of eco-friendly laundry detergent (like Planet Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent; $6.49 at drugstores) so your clothes can be washed in a sink, not a washing machine.

Eat Green. One way to offset travel carbon emissions is to change your diet when traveling. Meat eaters should try going veggie for the duration of their trip to reduce consumption of unsustainable meat products. This is especially easy in countries like India, where much of the population is vegetarian. Temporary vegetarianism not only helps reduce your trip’s carbon footprint, it also makes food poisoning from undercooked souvlaki less likely.

Bike Green. When visiting Amsterdam, the most enjoyable (and eco-friendly) way to get around the city is to bike like a local. This saves fuel, is a great workout, and is a great way to see the city. The best place to rent a bike is Damstraat Rent-a-Bike in the Jordaan neighborhood (Damstraat 20-22; 31 020 625 50 29), where inexpensive bikes that don’t scream “tourist" go for around €10 per day.

Let's Go publishes travel guides written entirely by Harvard undergraduates.

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