You don’t have to buy carbon offsets or bike across the country to reduce your impact on the environment. All it takes is a commitment to a few easy steps that can collectively make a big difference.
By Eric Lucas
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"No, I don’t need a clean plate," I tell my server. I’m at a New York travel convention luncheon, I’ve come back for seconds, and I’m asking him to place the food on the same china plate I started with a half-hour ago. He shakes his head in amazement and walks away.
That’s the same headshake I get when I tell hotel housekeepers I don’t want my room serviced — no fresh towels, no thanks. And the same headshake that greets my refusal of a plastic bag to carry three bananas and an orange.
Saving the planet when you’re on the road doesn’t mean you have to make enormous choices that spare 21 tons of carbon dioxide at a single whack. Instead, the cumulative impact of many small, incremental changes is what will transform the overall picture. Every year, worldwide, about 1 billion people travel. If each of us changed our behavior 10 percent, we’d effect a massive improvement in the global environment, economy and culture.