Summer time = travel time! July 4th may have come and gone, but nearly a whole season of opportunities to explore new people and places still lies ahead. But all those airplanes and miniature bottles of shampoo come with a social and environmental impact. So wherever your next summer jaunt takes you, make sure to keep ethics and sustainability at the forefront of your travel plans. Here are some ideas to get you moving:

  • Don’t fly. Air travel is super pricey right now – that’s reason enough to stay on the ground. But the carbon footprint associated with flying is also huge. So if you can, bike, bus, train, or carpool to your vacation destination.
  • Offset your footprint. Sometimes you have to fly. You can’t exactly drive to Rome or India, after all. If you do, make sure you offset your environmental impact by donating to The Carbon Neutral Company or JNF’s GoNeutral campaign.
  • Stay at a fair wage hotel. Do a bit of research to find out if the hotel you’re staying at pays its workers a living wage (like the Dan Hotel chain in Israel.) Meanwhile, check out GreenHotels.com for a list of vetted, eco-friendly establishments.
  • Support the local economy. When you’re traveling domestically or abroad, aim to support independent restaurants, hotels, and businesses. Your tourist dollars go further supporting them than the big super-chains.
  • Travel with an (empty) water bottle. You can’t bring water through airport security these days, but you can bring an empty reusable bottle everywhere. Fill it up as you go – just make sure the drinking water is stomach-friendly wherever you’re staying.

Where are you headed this summer, and how will you travel sustainably? Let us know by tweeting @repairtheworld.