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COOL TRAVEL MAIL'S 
TRAVEL TIPS 
Tips & Adice for the Seasoned and Armchair Traveler Alike! 
============================================================
http://www.CoolTravelMail.com


March 20, 2007

OK, you saw Al Gore's documentary, and got misty eyed over
the polar bears.

You've watched the Weather Channel and noticed that
something weird seems to be happening.

And you heard the scientists finally agree that, yes, global
warming appears to be a fact.

There's only one question remaining:

What are you going to do about it?

This week's edition includes:

* GREEN TRAVEL

* ERASING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

* ECO-FRIENDLY DRIVING

P.S. If you're interested you can now post comments on this 
and recent issues on our forum at... Travel Tips Forum 

============================================================
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============================================================

GREEN TRAVEL
~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of the worst things you can do for the environment is
travel.

Aircraft and automobiles are both huge contributors to the
emissions that help keep heat trapped on the planet. Folks
on vacation tend to use resources unwisely, often putting
unreasonable burdens on fragile ecosystems or infrastructure
in developing countries.

And don’t even get me talking about litter.

But there are ways to tread more lightly on the planet you
re traveling on. Some are simple and might even save you
time and money. Others take more commitment.

Anyway, here are some thoughts about green travel, based on
conversations with some pretty earth-friendly people I know,
and some stuff that was posted on New American Dream
(http://www.newdream.org) a group dedicated to socially
responsible living.

* Travel less

Long weekend getaways are great for busy career folks who
need frequent breaks but don't dare stay away from the 
office too long, but they’re bad for the environment. Think
of all the jet fuel burned during a three-day mini-vacation.

Mommy Earth might appreciate it more if you took fewer, but
longer holidays.  and cutting down on short breaks

* Plan Green

If you’re serious about minimizing the impact of your
travels on the environment, you need to begin when your
journey is just an idea.

There are hotels and resorts around the world that profess
to be “green” and increasingly popular eco-tours that focus
on environmentally sensitive parts of the world or cultures
with an endangered way of life. And there are travel
agencies who specialize in “green” vacations.

So the first thing you do is research your destination and
all of the travel infrastructure that goes with it online.
Here are some Websites to get you started: 

- Responsible Travel.com (http://www.responsibletravel.com) 

This is a travel portal dedicated to eco-tourism and
environmentally friendly travel. Founded in 2001, the group
claims to have booked 20,000 travelers.

- Planeta (http://www.planeta.com/worldtravel.html)

Planeta.com's World Travel Directory is a select guide for
those seeking eco- and people-friendly travel. It's been
around since 1995. 

- Green Earth Travel (http://www.vegtravel.com/)

This is a site specializing in travel for vegetarian and
environmentally friendly travel.

- Green Globe 21 (http://www.greenglobe21.com) 

 Green Globe is a worldwide benchmarking and certification
program for the travel and tourism industry. It offers a
travel planner.

- Green Hotels Association (http://www.greenhotels.com) 

This is an association of hotels that have pledged to reduce
water and energy use and cut down on the amount of solid
waste they produce.

- Manaca (http://www.manaca.com)

This group books environmental tours and eco-lodges
throughout the world.

============================================================
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Relive a Tale of Two Sisters, Mary Campbell and Jessica Tate

Airing from 1977 to 1981, SOAP parodies the conventions of 
the soap opera in its story of 2 families, the Tates and the 
Campbells, and all their adventures and disagreements--which 
include everything from infidelity to insanity to alien 
abduction. This 3 DVD set is now available for $29.99. Visit:

Soap: Season One DVD
============================================================

ERASING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Erase your carbon footprint

Flying is particularly harmful to the environment, but it's
really tough to get from New York to Asia, or even Europe,
during a two-week vacation without taking to the skies.

So, you can do what big, pollution-spewing companies do when
someone on their board either develops a conscience or wants
some good publicity - you buy carbon offsets.

Offsetting means paying someone to reduce CO2 in the
atmosphere by the same amount that your activities add. In
this way you can 'neutralize' or 'balance' the greenhouse
gasses added by your activities.

For a nominal cost, some companies will fund environmental
projects designed to compensate for your damage. Projects
include tree-planting programs, investment in alternative
energy production and making existing technologies more
energy efficient. 
 
Several groups offer "carbon calculators" that let you
quantify your impact, and an opportunity to soothe your
guilt by opening your wallet. I found one, ClimateCare, that
I’ve never used, but that’s gotten some good reviews. Check
it out at http://www.climatecare.org./

* Fly direct

Minimize your flying time and stopovers. The worst carbon
emissions are emitted during take off and landing. 

Yes, that's right, you now have an excuse for taking the
more expensive non-stop flight.

* Unpack before you pack

Remove all excess packaging before you stuff things in your
suitcase. Waste disposal is difficult in remote places and
developing countries and can cause real problems. 

Besides, veteran travelers know that all those Visine and
toothpaste boxes just take up space and need to tossed
anyway in the name of efficient packing.

* Skip the taxi

If you do fly, take public transit or the hotel's shared van
instead of a cab to and from the airport. 

Walking in general is a good idea. Instead of calling a cab
to get to  local attractions, use the bus or subway, or rent
a bicycle. You'll get a better feel for the sights and
sounds of your destination, and you won't choke up the air.

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============================================================

ECO-FRIENDLY DRIVING
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Turn off the lights

In my own home, I tend to be a bit of a fascist when it
comes to switching off lights and televisions. On vacation,
however, you figure it's covered by the hotel bill. Who
cares? You're not paying for it. 

True, it's not going to show up on the hotel bill, but all
that energy is wasted. Multiply yourself by the millions of
travelers who think the same way, and this becomes a
significant amount of energy burned needlessly.


Make sure you turn out your lights and television and turn
down your air conditioner whenever you leave your hotel
room.

* Go in a group

Try group travel, as in bus tour. My in-laws have done it
with their church group, and they've had nothing but good
things to say about it. 

Imagine the exhaust created if every person on every tour
bus drove their own cars.

And don't forget about trains. Remember, Europe isn't the
only area of the world worth traveling by rail.

* Drive responsibly.

I'm not talking about slowing down in work zones, or coming
to a full stop at red lights.

I’m talking about making sure your  car is well-tuned and
your tires are properly inflated. You'll not only pollute
less but also increase your mileage and cut your gas costs
up to 15 percent

You can also join an environmentally friendly auto club. 

Better World Club (http://www.betterworldclub.com/home.htm)
offers itself as an alternative to AAA, which it refers to
as "Arrogant, Anti-environment and Archaic." 

In addition to roadside assistance, it offers eco-travel
services, discounts on hybrid cars, insurance services, free
maps, auto maintenance discounts and bicycle roadside
assistance.  The company says it donates 1 percent of its
annual revenues toward environmental cleanup and advocacy. 

* Take digital photos

If you have the choice, use a digital camera. They require
fewer chemicals to make prints and you can eliminate
unwanted shots before printing.

Well, that's it for this week, group. Thanks again for 
reading, and please keep those comments, complaints and 
questions coming in. 

You can send me an e-mail message at: Email Pierce

Until next week, thanks for reading. 

Your Tipmeister, 

Pierce

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