Travel Ideas

Green Travel Ideas

What is Green Travel?

Traveling green means reducing the environmental impact of your trips and involves a wide range of options, all centered around the idea of preserving the planet. Green travel will help preserve the places we visit for future generations.

Green Travel Tips

  • Keep your showers brief, and turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.
  • When you leave the room, turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices.
  • Reuse your sheets and towels instead of having them changed every day. Many hotels will not replace your towels if you leave them hanging up neatly. You can also write a note for the housekeeping staff or notify the front desk.
  • Bring your own toiletries and drinking cup rather than using the prepackaged ones provided. If you use the hotel’s toiletries, take them with you, and use them at home or during the rest of your trip.
  • Know your hotel’s recycling program, and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn’t recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home with you for recycling.
  • Give your hotel feedback. Express your appreciation for any eco-friendly programs it currently offers. If your hotel doesn’t have any eco-friendly programs, encourage management to go green in the future.

Getting Around

Transportation—particularly air travel—is where most travelers have the biggest environmental impact. According to USA Today, a flight from New York to Denver produces as much carbon dioxide per passenger as an SUV produces in a month. To minimize your environmental footprint, try the following steps:

  • Offset the carbon emissions produced by your flight.
  • When renting a car, choose the smallest vehicle that can comfortably accommodate you. Decline any “free” upgrades (which will cost you more in gas). Rent a hybrid car.
  • Taking a long road trip? If your personal vehicle is large and not very fuel-efficient, consider renting an economy car instead. You’ll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle. Whenever possible, use public transportation instead of taxis or rental cars. Better yet, walk or bike.

Green Things to Do in Gatlinburg

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected land areas east of the Rocky Mountains. With over 500,000 acres of forest, the Smoky Mountains contain an enormous variety of plants and animals. In terms of biological diversity, a walk from mountain base to peak is often compared to the 2,000 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. From biking, hiking, fishing, camping and much more, there is plenty to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit the National Park website for more information on available activities.
  • When shopping, bring a large canvas tote bag to hold all of those great souvenirs, walk to your destination, and pay close attention to which businesses have gone “green” in Gatlinburg.
  • Visit attractions that have made a pledge to go green, like Arrowmont, Ober Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum.
  • Come see the members of the Arts and Crafts Community who have also signed pledges to go green, including the Jim Gray Gallery and Highland Craft Gallery.