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Greening Your Travel: Part Two

Summer is here and what better way to honor the environment and the Jewish principle of baal tashchit (do not waste) than by planning your summer travels to be as eco-friendly as possible.  Here are a few tips to help as you plan your summer getaway:

  1.  Use eco-friendly transportation as much as possible:  Some options include doing a biking vacation and/or taking public transportation (such as train or bus) to get to your ultimate destination.  These alternatives are often cheaper and also reduce your carbon footprint as opposed to travelling by car.
  2. Bring your reusable bottle:  Don’t be tempted to purchase bottled water while travelling. Bring an empty, reusable bottle and fill up with locally sourced water wherever you go.  It takes a large amount of energy to manufacture plastic disposable bottled water containers and often the water is no fresher than what you would get from the tap.
  3. Buy local:  Wherever you travel, find a local farmers’ market  so you can buy your fruits, vegetables and other foods locally.  Locally grown seasonal food tastes better, has more nutrients and does not involve wasting fuel needed to transport produce from other countries.
  4. Stay at a working farm:  Stay at a working farm that also functions as an inn.  You will better connect with the area’s agricultural heritage and likely the cost will be cheaper than a traditional hotel.  You also will support local farmers and the fresh produce they grow.
  5. Recycle:  Plan to recycle as much as possible while on vacation. If staying at a hotel, ask about its recycling practices and where to put your used paper, plastic and similar recyclables so they don’t go into a landfill.

Happy Travels!

Gail Wechsler is the Director of Domestic Issues/Social Justice at the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. She is the staff person for the Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI), a committee of the JCRC and a part of the JCRC's Bohm Social Justice Initiative.
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