Green Travel: Vikki Nicolai La Crosse, WI Explores How to Plan a Sustainable Vacation

With environmental issues becoming more pressing daily, many travelers are looking for ways to make their vacations more sustainable. Green travel isn’t just a trend! Environmental advocate Vikki Nicolai La Crosse, WI points out that it’s a strong movement that encourages us to explore the world while minimizing our environmental impact. Here’s how you can plan your next vacation with sustainability in mind.

Why Sustainable Travel Matters

Traveling sustainably means being conscious of your travels’ environmental, social, and economic impacts. It’s about making choices that protect natural and cultural heritage, benefit local communities, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Environmental Benefits

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Opting for eco-friendly transportation and accommodations significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Conservation of Natural Resources: Sustainable travel practices help preserve natural habitats and biodiversity.
  • Waste Reduction: By minimizing waste and choosing reusable products, you reduce pollution and keep destinations pristine.

Social and Economic Benefits

  • Support for Local Communities: Spending money on local businesses helps boost the local economy and supports jobs in the area.
  • Cultural Preservation: Engaging with local cultures respectfully ensures that traditions and customs are maintained for future generations.
  • Fair Trade Practices: Choosing services and products that adhere to fair trade principles promotes equitable treatment and worker compensation.

Steps to Plan a Sustainable Vacation

1. Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations

Research destinations that prioritize sustainability. Vikki Nicolai La Crosse, WI suggests looking for places that have implemented eco-friendly practices, such as conservation programs, sustainable tourism certifications, and community-based tourism initiatives. Some top sustainable travel destinations include:

  • Costa Rica: Known for its commitment to conservation and eco-tourism, Costa Rica offers abundant opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature exploration.
  • Iceland: With its renewable energy sources and emphasis on preserving natural landscapes, Iceland is a model for sustainable tourism.
  • New Zealand: The country’s “Tiaki Promise” encourages visitors to protect the environment, respect the culture, and contribute to its well-being.

2. Opt for Sustainable Transportation

How you get to and travel around your destination plays a significant role in your carbon footprint.

  • Fly Less: If possible, choose direct flights to reduce carbon emissions associated with takeoffs and landings.
  • Public Transport and Car Sharing: To reduce your environmental impact, use public transportation, rent a bike, or opt for car-sharing services.
  • Electric and Hybrid Vehicles: If you need to rent a car, choose an electric or hybrid vehicle to minimize emissions.

3. Stay in Eco-Friendly Accommodations

Not all accommodations are created equal when it comes to sustainability. Victoria Nicolai La Crosse shares that if you’re serious about this green effort, choose hotels, hostels, or vacation rentals with green certifications or practices.

  • Certified Green Hotels: Look for certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Green Key Global, or EarthCheck.
  • Eco-Lodges: These accommodations are designed to have minimal environmental impact. They often use renewable energy sources, recycle waste, and support local conservation efforts.
  • Local Stays: Consider staying with local hosts through platforms like Airbnb or Couchsurfing to support the local economy and gain a more authentic experience.

4. Pack Light and Smart

Packing light not only makes your travel easier but also reduces the weight of transportation, leading to lower fuel consumption.

  • Reusable Items: Bring a reusable water bottle, shopping bag, and utensils to avoid single-use plastics.
  • Eco-Friendly Toiletries: Choose biodegradable soaps, shampoos, and sunscreens to minimize environmental harm.
  • Sustainable Clothing: Pack clothing made from sustainable materials and avoid fast fashion brands contributing to environmental degradation.

5. Respect Local Cultures and Environments

Being a responsible traveler means respecting the places and people you visit. Victoria Nicolai explains that you’d also be a happier traveler when you respect local customs and cultures.

  • Follow Leave No Trace Principles: Take everything you brought, and leave no waste behind.
  • Support Local Businesses: Eat at local restaurants, shop at local markets, and use local guides and tour operators.
  • Learn About Local Customs: Understanding and respecting local customs and traditions enriches your travel experience and fosters goodwill.

6. Engage in Responsible Activities

Choose activities that align with sustainable travel principles. Avoid those that harm animals, ecosystems, or local communities.

  • Wildlife Viewing: Opt for tours that promote ethical wildlife viewing and support conservation efforts.
  • Cultural Experiences: Participate in cultural experiences that are respectful and beneficial to local communities.
  • Volunteering: Consider spending part of your vacation volunteering for environmental or social causes in the destination.

Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

  • Offset Your Carbon Emissions: Support projects that offset the carbon emissions from your travel, such as reforestation initiatives or renewable energy projects.
  • Eat Local and Plant-Based: Eating locally sourced and plant-based foods reduces the carbon footprint associated with food transportation and production.
  • Conserve Water and Energy: Reduce your water and energy usage by taking shorter showers, turning off lights, and reusing towels.


Planning a sustainable vacation doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort or enjoyment. By making mindful choices, you can have a memorable trip that benefits the environment and local communities. Ready to start planning your green vacation? Connect with our team of sustainable travel experts for personalized tips and recommendations to make your trip eco-friendly and unforgettable. Happy travels!


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