Packing Up the Sleigh for Holiday Travel

If you think about it, traveling by sleigh is pretty eco-friendly. I assume Santa's sleigh doesn't run on gas, but just on biofuel (hey-ohhhh!). And with the distance he travels in one night, that's a pretty decent source of energy that we should maybe look into!

However, the rest of us still have to rely on other forms of transportation for our holiday travel (and we certainly aren't going to get there as quickly as Santa!) Whether you go by car or airplane, there are a few tips to remember that will help you travel more sustainably and with a smaller footprint.

By Car

  • Pack lightly and bring only what you need for your trip. The more you weigh your vehicle down with unnecessary items, the less efficiently your vehicle will perform.
  • Pack snacks and drinks in reusable containers. Resist the urge to throw everything in a Ziploc bag! Plus, you'll be able to use the containers again while you're away, and on your trip home.
  • Check that your vehicle is up to date on maintenance and oil changes. Your vehicle runs most efficiently when everything is working correctly.
  • Fill up your tires to their proper inflation. Low tire pressure reduces fuel efficiency.
  • Pack what you can inside the car, as those roof luggage racks reduce efficiency as well.
  • Use cloth bags to pack gifts or extra goods for the car, or bring a few empty ones to use on your trip home!


By Air

  • Don't overpack! Not only will you get slapped with overweight baggage fees, you'll be contributing to a heavier, less efficient airplane.
  • Bring an empty reusable drink container. You generally won't be able to bring liquids through a security checkpoint, but you can fill your bottle once you've gone through.
  • Use recycling or compost bins in the airport instead of throwing everything in the trash.
  • If you have unused napkins from the airport restaurant or in-flight snacks, keep and save them for later. Or even bring your own cloth napkin and say "no, thank you" to paper.
  • Have gifts to bring? Don't wrap them before you pack them! TSA agents may have to unwrap gifts during a scan, and there's trashed wrapping paper you won't get back. You'll have to use even more paper to rewrap, and what a headache it is overall. If your gifts are too large or bulky to fly with, consider just shipping them to your destination. (If you're ordering gifts online, have them shipped directly to the recipient to save extra packing materials and fuel.)
  • Use mobile boarding passes if your airline supports them. It beats having scrappy pieces of paper that you could accidentally lose or throw away, and it works just as easily.

Once You're There

Enjoy your holidays, wherever you are. Don't forget your basic green practices:
  • Recycle!
  • Use cloth bags.
  • Conserve water.
  • Keep the thermostat on a moderate temperature, even if you're at a hotel. (And I'd say not to turn the heat on too high, but chances are, we'll all be blasting the AC on Christmas Day. I mean, the high in south Louisiana is supposed to be 74! #ChristmasInShorts)
  • Choose reusable cups and dinnerware.
  • Don't waste what you don't really need.
  • Walk, ride bikes, or carpool.

Where are you heading for the holidays this year? Doing it Four Christmases-style and jetting off to a tropical island, or simply heading to your parents?


Unknown said...

Such a shame the weather won't even be a little chilly. Great tips that I plan to use since I'll be travelling by car. Merry Christmas and please be careful if you are travelling as well.

Caitlin said...

Celina, talk about! Haha. I am not excited about wearing short sleeves on Christmas. Thank you and Merry Christmas to y'all as well! Stay safe!

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