Yet another Earth Day has passed and we were again flooded by the Green Monsoon of tips and lists for reducing our environmental footprint. While I appreciate these efforts to promote a better planet, I’m more intrigued – and frankly more inspired – by how we can affect positive change by increasing – not reducing – our actions. A recent TIME Magazine article entitled “Handprints, Not Footprints” focused on that very idea.
In the travel technology industry,- I am inspired by new innovations that help us improve our businesses, our travel experiences and our lives – and improve our own “handprint” or impact. So herewith, my homage to Earth Day: my top 5 technologies for increasing your positive impact while traveling.
1. Get mobile! Travel smarter and leave the paper itineraries, boarding passes and documents to the trees! TripCase is one of many tools that make travel experiences better, with real-time updates, sharing, and even access to “green” travel offers!
2. Lend a hand: Improve your handprint by giving a hand! Hotels now give you the opportunity to volunteer while you travel. For example, Ritz Carlton has Give Back Getaways that connect you half-day volunteer events and “Ambassadors of the Environment,” in collaboration with Jean-Michel Cousteau.
3. Get electrified: Curious about electric cars, but don’t want to buy one yet? Why not rent one on your next trip? Companies like Enterprise and Hertz are increasing the electric vehicles in their fleets and partnering with hotels to ensure you have easy access to Park-n-Plug EV charging stations.
4. Shameless promotion: We share our pictures, our favorite books, our dining choices, so why not share brands that are getting it right, making our handprint bigger and better? Once you’ve had a great travel experience, like staying at an Eco Certified hotel offered on Travelocity, use social media to share your great find, and by association, boost your own green profile.
5. Cheap and easy: New technologies like the Nest thermostat give you control of your home energy use right from your phone or iPad. You can control the temperature in your home while you’re away, yet have it set perfect when you return home!