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Five Tips for Sustainable Travel

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Five Tips for Sustainable Travel

At Power Panel, we are all about sustainability, in all aspects of our operations. From our solar-thermal generator (Gen-2-O), to our energy saving solar-thermal panels, we know the importance of saving energy, time and money and providing sustainable solutions that are earth-friendly and accessible in a variety of locations and climates across the globe.

With summer comes holidays and vacations, and many of us and our clients will be taking this time of year to travel.  Our approach to sustainability doesn’t stop with our technology, and for this reason, we are sharing a few resources for turning your summer travels into sustainable travels.  Here are five tips and resources for limiting your carbon footprint during your summer vacation:

1 – Ask Questions – Is your travel outfitter making efforts to run its operations in a sustainable manner? What are they doing in the realm of energy saving, conservation and reducing carbon emissions?  Do they partner with or contribute a portion of proceeds to organizations and causes that support the environment and/or the local communities in which they operate?  By asking the right questions, you may be surprised by how much a business does (or doesn’t do) to help the environment and local community.  

2 – Board a Train or Bus – While flying gets you further in a shorter amount of time, trains and other land-based forms of transportation offer travel with less carbon emissions.  Air travel, especially “short-haul” regional flights (< 300 miles), create the most carbon emissions per passenger mile of any mass transit option because of the high fuel consumption during takeoffs and landings. By comparison, trains can use 50% less fuel per passenger than planes for the same trips, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bus travel is an even eco-friendlier alternative, emitting less carbon dioxide than trains on short and long trips (Source: Small Business Trends). When possible, and you have the additional time to spare, opt for the earth-friendly options.

3 – Track Your Travel – It is possible to track your travel footprint to give you a better gauge on your travel-based emissions; this can be especially useful if your business has a large amount of employees traveling throughout the year.  By keeping tabs on your travel and the carbon emissions it creates, you can potentially gain better control it. The Business Calculator on can help you quantify travel-based emissions. You might also choose to buy offsets, which invest in projects such as tree planting that take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

4 – Avoid Plastic – According to a recent article published by National Geographic, “mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons.  Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons have become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter.” From the bags you use to travel to the water bottles that you carry, plastic can easily be avoided during your travel.  Consider saying “no” to plastic and bringing reusable bags, bottles and straws that can be used for multiple purposes throughout your journey. 

5 – Choose the Right Resort - Aside from air travel, the resort or property where you stay can have a major impact in terms of energy use, food and construction (LEED-certified).  For this reason, check into the resort’s website for their stance on responsible travel and the environment.  If they have made an investment such as those resorts that have installed Power Panel solar-thermal arrays, they will most likely have information posted about it on their website.  In addition to individual hotels, if you would prefer to search a number of properties, vendors and destinations that abide by certain sustainability standards, then the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and searches for “eco-friendly resorts” are a good place to start.

To learn more about Power Panel and how its solar-thermal technology can provide a sustainable and secure energy source for you, contact us.