Going Green on Your Beach Vacation

Today we are featuring, Erin Leigh, a writer and marketer for New American Funding, an HUD Approved and FHA Direct Endorsement mortgage banker serving 21 states across the country. When she’s not writing, she’s finding new ways to reduce her carbon footprint no matter where her travels take her.

There are some things every beach vacation must have: blue skies, white sand beaches, and crystal clear water are just some of the necessities.  But if you’re living green at home, you shouldn’t have to abandon your eco-friendly lifestyle just for a week of fun in the sun at the beach. Luckily with these easy tips, you won’t have to.

You’re already doing one of the easiest  things for  an eco-friendly beach trip: Skip the hotel and get a rental. The United States’ 47,000 hotels spend more than $2,000 on energy per available room, and when you consider that most hotels have between 70-120 rooms, it’s easy to see just how much is being wasted.

Many rental owners have begun to encourage green vacation living, some adding solar panels, bamboo paneling and linens or simply making signs asking tenants to mind the lights and A/C.  If you can find rentals with those amenities, book them. Here are a few more things you’ll want to look for when selecting  your vacation rental.

Make sure there’s a full kitchen: This should be a given in most rentals. Plan meals ahead of time and stock your fridge at the start of your trip. This way  you will have great food without having to leave the house.

Energy efficient appliances and toilets: Most rental properties will have extra-large washers and dryers, so plan your laundry accordingly. You probably don’t need to wash your towels and sheets each day. If your rental has a clothesline, the sun and ocean breezes will help disinfect and dry your towels without running the wash.

Eco-friendly beach equipment: Chances are good that you’ll find a number of toys, games and beach equipment ready for you at your rental. You can bring along your own eco-friendly beach toys and beach bags to make sure that your sand castle is as green as your rental home.

Smart transportation: In many beach communities, driving a car can be impractical or even prohibited, so scout around for a rental that includes a neighborhood electric vehicle or access to reliable public transit. These low speed vehicles can fit the whole family without burning gas (or a hole in your wallet).

Recycling options: It’s natural to produce a lot of plastic when you’re on vacation, so you’ll want to make sure your rental will be recycling your water bottles and soda cans. Better yet, see if the owners include water filtration options and bring your personal Nalgene bottles.

Going green will make you feel good on vacation, but it can also save rental owners a lot of money over the years. If you do a little digging you should be able to find the house of your green dreams. To minimize your vacation carbon footprint, think about booking a vacation with friends or extended family. Finding a larger rental home to fit 10 or more people will greatly reduce your energy consumption over the course of a vacation. . Once you find the perfect rental, you can help make it as green as possible.

What are some other ways you can go green on your next beach vacation?