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Planning a Trip That’s Relaxing and Eco-Friendly

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Ireland Says No To Fracking

You live sustainably at home, have a fuel efficient vehicle and greened up your office. But there’s still one area that you could make more eco-friendly – your leisure trips.

Since horses are no longer a viable means of travel, taking a trip inherently means your generating an eco footprint. For the eco-conscious, the goal is to limit the size of that footprint without sacrificing the experience. The demand for environmentally friendly vacations is growing and the travel industry is paying attention. CEOs like Justin Francis are building entire businesses around making it easier to plan eco-friendly vacations.

Even if you can’t afford your own eco-friendly travel agent, there are ways to ensure your trip is green and clean for the environment.

Get the Details Before Booking a Room

When you’re splurging on a relaxation vacation the details matter. The better prepared you are the easier it is to relax once you get there. Here are a few ways to gauge how eco-friendly a hotel or resort really is before booking a room.

Spa Products and Equipment

If relaxing at the spa is a top priority, the services provided and products used can influence where you stay. Many spa products are full of harmful chemicals, but an eco-friendly establishment will go all-natural. Also ask about the equipment, like what type of massage tables they have available. The equipment is just as important as the skill of the service providers, especially if you have special requirements like the use of a pregnancy table.

Energy Sources and Conservation

More hotels are starting to see the benefit of going green since it helps their bottom line while helping the environment. It began with giving guests the option to forgo daily towel and linen changes. Now some hotels and resorts are investing in solar power systems while others are taking steps to conserve water from the infrastructure up and implementing recycling programs.

Hotel Carpooling

See if the hotel offers guests transport to area attractions. Carpooling in the hotel van can be more convenient and it’s greener than taking your own vehicle.

One Energy Consuming Feature to Have: Wi-Fi

During your vacation, you’ll probably want to unplug for the most part, but being in contact with family is important to most people. You never know when life is going to dole out something unexpected so you may not want to go completely off the grid.

Find Eco-Friendly Flights

One of the least eco-friendly parts of any vacation is getting there and back home. The least green option is traveling by plane. However, in some cases, it makes more sense to travel by plane rather than vehicle or train. You can make your flight a little greener by:

  • Taking direct flights – Whenever possible book a direct flight to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Choosing a green airline – Airlines like Southwest are taking steps to eliminate waste and improve efficiency. Look for a carrier that has fully embraced the United Nations ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) agreement that caps carbon emissions.
  • Comparing carbon emissions – Google has created a tool that will tell you the carbon emissions for a flight along with the price. You can lower your impact without affecting your budget.
  • Utilizing an airline’s carbon offset program. Delta and a number of other airlines are offering customers the ability to join their carbon offset program.

Look for Eco-Friendly Entertainment

Selecting a resort or locale where you can get out in nature is good for your mental health and the world’s well-being. You can easily spend hours out on the nearby trails without adding one bit to your eco footprint. Even in an urban location you can take leisurely walking tours or bike tours to cut out the carbon emissions.

Staying in and spending a day at the resort can be equally entertaining and environmentally friendly. Plus, you don’t have to worry about making travel arrangements.

Choose an Eco-Friendly Destination

Where you go is possibly the biggest decision if you plan to take an eco-friendly getaway. You want the destination to offer creature comforts that make relaxation easy while also promoting a green lifestyle. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the world’s greenest destinations:

Costa Rica – For years Costa Rica has been the poster child for conservation. The country’s leaders have gone to great lengths to conserve rainforest, and this year the country made headlines for going 150 days on nothing but renewable energy.

Finland – Another country that’s so green it doesn’t matter where you go is Finland. The country recently ranked number one on Yale’s Environmental Performance Index.

Iceland – Iceland is another top eco destination. There’s no shortage of spas built right into the natural surroundings, which provides endless relaxation and 100% of the country’s energy.

New Mexico, USA – The rugged, raw beauty of the New Mexico landscape is the perfect backdrop for a number of eco-friendly resorts. Local hot springs offer a natural relaxing soak, minerals that can soothe the skin and geothermal energy.

 

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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