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Eco-Friendly Corporate Travel

Top Ten Tips to Go Green with Corporate Travel

            It may seem an impossible task, to actually have green corporate travel, but with work it can be done. Corporate executives are some of the most frequent fliers, drivers, and rampant consumers when travelling on business. I once met a lawyer who had racked up over one million frequent flier miles on business travel alone. Obviously this group could use some green corporate travel tips, which we would be happy to provide! Good luck becoming a more eco-friendly business traveler!

1.  Buy Carbon Offsets When You Fly

            Airplanes produce massive amounts of CO2, which pollutes the earth unless changed into oxygen by plants. When you fly, purchase carbon offsets (which go towards carbon reduction) to neutralize the pollution you are creating. For convenient green corporate travel buy your carbon offsets when you book your trip at sites like Travelocity and Expedia.

2. Plan Trips Efficiently

          If you fly from New York to Texas, then Florida, and then Chicago you are really flying very inefficiently. In order to save fuel and money line your trips up in a manner that requires you to travel short distances and not have to backtrack. Also, try to take all of your business trips in a chunk. Flying out once is more eco-friendly than returning home and flying out multiple times.

3. Pack Light

          The heavier the load, the more fuel a plane uses. This is the principal behind airlines charges on bags over a certain weight, and also the reason why you should pack lightly. Less luggage helps lower your carbon foot print as well as saving you money. If you need them, drycleaners can be found in every city.

4. Take the Train

            If you are travelling only a few hundred miles or live on the East Coast a train can be a great option. The fastest train in the US runs from Boston to Washington DC, and can be very handy for green corporate travel in the US. If you live in Europe you probably already take the train, which is far more efficient than the US system. Trains produce one third the pollution of planes, and half the CO2 of cars. Relax and avoid bustling airports by riding the rail instead.

5. Rent a Hybrid Car

            Most executives travel alone, so why would you need a luxury sedan? Instead, look into rental companies that offer hybrid vehicles, which will also save your company in gas money when you have to drive. Can't find a hybrid for rent at your destination? Go for an economy sized car, which is both cheaper to rent and more efficient with fuel.

6. Stay at a Green Hotel

          When you get to where you're going support green corporate travel by staying at an eco-friendly hotel. Look for hotels that have the Green Seal of approval or are LEED certified by the US Green Building Council. In Canada the equivalent is the Green Leaf Eco-Rating.

7.  Don't Have Your Linens and Towels Washed Daily

          Many hotels wash sheets and towels daily, using up huge quantities of electricity and water in the process. Ask staff to forgo washing your linens everyday and hang towels up so they aren't tossed in the laundry.

8. Don't Dine Out as Much

          Besides being a source of an outrageous amount of calories, most food in restaurants in not produced organically. If you want to be a green corporate traveler and stay healthy, try making your meals in. Some hotels offer kitchen suites, or at the very least put organic sandwich materials in your mini-fridge. This way you'll save money and help support organic farming.

9. Cut Waste

            Corporate travel is often full of unnecessary waste, from travel size shampoos to tiny packets of peanuts on the plane. Whenever you see an opportunity to throw something away, avoid it like the plague. Refill travel size bottles at home, and pack your own healthy snacks. By cutting garbage you become a green corporate traveler.

10. Teleconference

          Finally, ask yourself if you really need to be travelling at all. With modern technology we can speak and hear each other almost as if we were in the same room. Is there any way you can simply use this method to accomplish your goals? The most eco-friendly method of corporate travel: staying right where you are.

Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Oct 3, 2008