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Thinking green and traveling sustainably

tips for eco friendly travel on earth dayIt’s Earth Day—and here at EF, we’re working hard to reduce our carbon footprint and encourage eco-friendly travel. Read on to see how our Boston office is celebrating Earth Day and how you can reduce your own carbon footprint while traveling!

tips for eco friendly travel at EF Boston headquarters

EF Boston’s office formed a Green Team in December 2017. Their mission? Educate staff on environmental issues while offering alternatives—presenting problems and solutions. On earth day last year, they encouraged staff to use reusable mugs and water bottles and showcased a local company with compost demonstrations. Over the summer, they supported the Boston office in their break up with single-use plastic.

“Each year, an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic flows into the ocean. That’s an entire dump truck of plastic emptying into the ocean every single minute of every single day, 365 days a year—that’s not sustainable for people, the planet or our ocean.”
Our Plastic Problem

tips for eco-friendly travel: reduce, reuse, recycle

via: opcdd.com

Now, Earth Day is here again! This time the Green Team is making a week of it. Ever heard of the phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’? Well at EF, we’re taking it two steps further. Instead of three R’s, we have five: one for each day of the work week!

Sarah Carey from the Green team shared that the five R’s framework is meant to help engage staff throughout Earth Week—and it’s been adopted in EF offices around the world. Since the official Green Team reveal in April last year, nine other EF offices have sprouted Green Teams of their own!

Throughout the week we’ll be educating our staff on how they can start traveling more sustainably. Try some of these tips for eco-friendly travel on your next tour:

  • Packing
    • Select items you can wear multiple times (layers, neutral colors that match anything, multi-purpose footwear)
    • Pack a reusable water bottle and be selective about beverages on the flight by asking the flight attendant for a can that you can bring off the plane to recycle.
    • Avoid single-use plastic items like travel size shampoos and conditioners. Instead, try using reusable bottles or use soap bars like this or this.
  • While traveling
    • Flying: If you’re interested in offsetting the emissions from your flight, visit sustainabletravel.org
    • On the ground: opt for trains and other methods of public transportation
    • Opt to reuse your towels at hotels
    • Educate yourself on how to recycle correctly in your new destination

The Green Team will be expanding its education efforts beyond travel as well.

On Thursday, EF is hosting their second clothing swap! The EPA estimates 85% of clothes end up in landfills and that textiles make up 5% of U.S. landfills. Rather than throwing your clothes away, try swapping with friends! Need other ideas about how to responsibly dispose of your old clothes? Click here.

And on Friday, we’re focusing on recycling. EF Boston recycles with Save that Stuff, a Boston-based recyclable materials & waste resource management company. Over the last year, our collaboration with Save that Stuff has saved:

1,026 adult trees

815 cubic yards of landfill space

362,348 kilowatts of electricity or 214 barrels of oil

And reduced our carbon footprint by 72.55 metric tons of Carbon equivalent, equal to removing 58 cars from the roads each year.

This Earth Day, think about your own impact on our world. Consider measuring your carbon footprint and adopting some of our tips for eco-friendly travel to your own daily routines!

Topics: EF news, Travel tips

Katie Collins

Unsurprisingly, Katie is another EF-er who loves to travel! She appreciates that travel forces you to cut down to the essentials and let go of excess stuff. Wherever she goes she’s looking for fun hikes, restaurants with gushing reviews and local flavors, and the highest place she can get to (think: mountaintop, bell tower, Duomo, jungle gym). Katie spent summer vacations traveling around the US to different National Parks. In college, she was lucky enough to spend a semester in Madrid and returned to Spain later on to walk El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). She is part of EF Explore America’s Product Management team.

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