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5 of the Best Ways to Save on Business Travel

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Are you looking for ways to save money on business travel? Have you come to find that this could go a long way in improving your company’s bottom line? Are you more than willing to take action in the days, weeks, and months to come?

Many people assume that saving on business travel is a difficult task. These are the types of people who are conditioned to believe that they have to overspend on travel, all because this is how they have done things in the past.

You don’t have to travel down this same path in the future. There are many ways to save money, with some strategies easy to implement without much effort.

So, with all this in mind, let’s examine five of the better ways to save:

1. Book a Hotel Online

Gone are the days of using a travel agency or calling a hotel direct to make a reservation.

Booking online puts you in position to not only find the best deal, but to also learn more about the many properties that are available.

For example, you can search Expedia to locate the perfect Hollywood hotel for your next business trip.

2. Forget About Checking Your Bag

Checking your bag will cost you money, and that’s not a good use of your company’s cash.

If possible, you should do whatever you can to get all your luggage into your carry-on. There are many packing tips you can follow to improve your odds of doing so, like this one from squareship.com.

There will be times when you have no choice but to check at least one bag, such as if you will be traveling for an extended period of time, but it’s good practice to avoid this at all costs.

3. Book Your Flight in Advance

It’s not always possible, but booking your flight in advance goes a long way in saving you money.

For example, booking three months in advance gives you access to pretty much every flight available, ensuring that you can compare rates and secure the lowest price.

Conversely, if you wait until the last minute to book, your options are limited and the prices are much higher.

4. Don’t Book a Luxury Hotel

As exciting as it sounds to live in luxury while traveling for business, the cost of doing so can quickly add up.

For instance, if you’re visiting Hollywood, you know that there are many hotels to choose from. You also know that some will be well out of your price range (if you’re being reasonable, of course).

There are plenty of competitively priced hotels in the area that provide a high quality experience. The Best Western Hollywood Plaza Inn is a great example, with this hotel receiving rave reviews from many travelers.

5. Ditch the Rental Car

Even though you may enjoy the convenience of booking a rental car, you should realize a couple things to be true:

  • This can be extremely expensive, especially when you take into consideration miscellaneous fees such as parking and tolls
  • It can be a pain to care for a vehicle while you’re traveling, such as finding a safe place to park and making sure you don’t cause any damage

Regardless of your destination, there are methods of travel that have nothing to do with renting a car. From Uber to public transportation to the hotel shuttle, you should consider all of these options. You may find that relying on these modes of transportation can save you a lot of money.

Conclusion

With so many ways to save on business travel, you should never hesitate to take action. A few changes here and there could save your company thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

Traveling for business is a way of life for many people. While there is no denying the fact that you will spend money on each trip, you don’t want to get into the habit of going overboard.

What are your thoughts on saving money on business travel expenses? Do you have a system in place for ensuring that you stay under budget at all times? What mistakes have you made in the past? Share your personal approach to saving on business travel in the comment section below. Your advice can help other travelers reduce their costs.

 

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Environment

Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Conscious Without Changing Your Lifestyle

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We live in a time when climate change has become abundantly evident. Even people who were doubtful a decade ago now understand that we all need to do what we can to live a greener lifestyle. But for some people, that’s easier said than done.

If you or someone you know are ready to begin living a more eco-conscious life, it doesn’t require totally changing your current lifestyle. There are plenty of small, easy things that can be done to reduce your carbon footprint little by little.

Eco-Conscious Travel Tips

Driving around in a car is often the biggest part of a person’s eco-footprint. In the past we’ve provided easy green travel changes that can be used immediately, and here are a few more to add to the list when you’re traveling by vehicle.

Eco Routing

Eco routing is an easy way to reduce mileage, limit pollution and make the trip easier to navigate. The idea is that you use an online eco-routing tool (no physical equipment means a smaller eco-footprint) to create the most fuel-efficient routes. You can even plan out routes with multiple stops.

Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated

Deflated tires reduce your miles per gallon. The Energy Department notes that you can improve MPG by 3% simply by keeping your tires properly inflated. The standard recommendation for tires is 30 to 35 p.s.i.

Follow Driving Best Practices

All those things your driver’s ed teacher taught you can help you lower the ecological impact of driving. Quickly starting and stopping, speeding and aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by as much as 40%.

Eco-Conscious Utility Tips

Another factor of life that makes an individual’s eco-footprint larger is utility use. Electricity, water and gas service all require the use of natural resources. You may not be able to install a solar power system or forgo utilities all together, but there are things you can do to lower energy use.

  • Look for green energy providers. In deregulated areas where consumers are able to select their utility providers, you may have the option to get electricity that’s generated by renewable resources.
  • Change out incandescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs are much more energy efficient and the last years longer. You’ll save energy and reduce waste at the same time.
  • Start using smart power strips. Smart strips go a step further than regular power strips by allowing users to connect different devices so they turn off and on together.
  • Connect electronics to an app. With today’s technology, lights, appliances and more can be synced with a smartphone app so you can turn things off even when you aren’t at home.
  • Use your windows strategically. Many people don’t realize that curtains can be used to reduce lighting, heating, and cooling. All you have to do is open and close curtains or blinds at the right time of day.

Eco-Conscious Cooking Tips

The third place where you can make huge improvements with small changes is in the kitchen. Food consumption is a major contributor to carbon emissions. On average, U.S. households contribute 8.1 metric tons of CO2e strictly from food consumption.

  • Start a vegetable garden – when veggies only have to travel a few feet from the yard to the kitchen there are no extra carbon emissions.
  • Whenever possible use a countertop toaster oven in place of the regular oven.
  • Go meatless one or two days a week. Meat is by far the biggest contributor to food consumption carbon emissions.
  • Keep your refrigerator full. When the refrigerator is full it uses less energy to stay cold.
  • Use a kitchen composter. You don’t have to create some complex system to start composting. There are compact kitchen composters that can help you repurpose waste for your garden rather than adding to a landfill.
  • Consider replacing appliances that are over a decade old. As an appliance ages, it usually becomes less energy efficient. Replacing an old appliance with an Energy Star model can help you save energy without even trying.

Every little thing counts when you’re reducing your carbon footprint. Instead of putting off big changes, start implementing some of the smaller steps to get the process going.

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Environment

6 Steps to Greener Mobile Phone Use

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Pretty much everyone over a certain age owns a cell phone. It’s not only a very handy device but has also become a part of our culture. However, there are some elements of cell phone manufacturing and usage that leave something to be desired. We’re in need of a population that’s eco-conscious in everything they do, including their cell phone usage.

Most people don’t think about the way their mobile phone use can impact the environment. Telecommunication companies participate in greenhouse gas emissions, wasteful water use, and improper waste and disposal of materials. These problems account for 85 percent of the total carbon footprint of telecommunication organizations.

There’s also the problem of electronic waste, or e-waste. Every day, electronic products are thrown away without a thought to proper recycling or reuse programs. A United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report shows that there’s approximately 20-50 million tons of e-waste generated each year around the world, and it’s estimated that this problem is growing by about 40 million tons every year.

Eco-conscious individuals will recognize the way that their attraction to electronic products affects the environment. For most people, going without a phone is not an option, but there are some things you can do to limit your footprint.

1. Buy Low-Energy Chargers

According to a report from Battery University, there are more than one billion chargers connected to the grid at a time. You can do your part by purchasing a charger that requires less energy.

Not all phone chargers are created equally. Some use more electricity than others, even though a lower energy-use charger will do the trick. In order to save some money on your electricity bill and reduce your emissions, look for chargers that take 30mW of energy or less. These will have a five-star energy rating on them.

2. Revert to a Rugged Flip Phone

Do you remember the days of flip phones? You could go for 3 days without charging your cell phone, and you spent a lot less time on the device. Less also went into the manufacturing and development processes since the phones were less complex.

Although you won’t be able to play candy crush during your breaks from work anymore, you will save a lot of energy and time by converting to a flip phone. You’ll also find that by disconnecting from your small mobile device, you’ll be more aware of the world around you.

3. Buy Used Instead of New Phones

People buy new phones like they buy shoes. Once a better, more trendy version comes out, they need it. This leads to generations of waste and disregard for the time, energy, and resources put into billions of devices around the world.

There’s no need to discard your old phone for the newest model when it comes out. Use your phone for as long as you possibly can, and then purchase an older model on eBay to help minimize waste.

4. Recycle Phones When They Die

Every day, Americans dispose of more than 350,000 mobile phones. Unfortunately, only 12 percent are recycled. When you buy a used phone to replace your dead model, locate a cell phone recycling facility near you.

There are many places that accept mobile phones for recycling. You might find an EcoATM kiosk in your mall that collects old phones and gives you money for them. You could also take them to your carrier for a small stipend that can be used towards a new device. Best Buy and your local library might also run phone recycling programs.

5. Support Eco-Friendly Companies

Although all companies must abide by certain eco-friendly laws, most will do the bare minimum to avoid fines. They don’t care as much about the environment as they do about making a profit.

When possible, avoid making purchases from these organizations and instead focus on more eco-conscious manufacturers. BlackBerry, Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Nokia phones tend to be more eco-friendly when designing their mobile devices.

6. Use It Less Often

According to Mike Berners-Lee of The Guardian, your mobile carbon footprint depends on how often you use your phone. Using some complicated figures, he estimates that the average phone emits 94 kg of carbon dioxide over its lifetime, or about 47 kg per year.

This doesn’t seem like a lot on the surface, but when you consider the fact that you’ll own dozens of cell phones in your lifetime, it can add up. Using your phone less often can extend its life significantly, and you’ll gain some mental and physical health benefits along the way.

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