Peter Jutro

Travel

How to Choose A “Green” Travel Destination

How To Choose A _Green_ Travel Destination

With more places abroad facilitating eco-friendly practices than ever before, traveling green has never been more doable. Nevertheless, when it comes to sustainability, not all locations are created equal. If you want to minimize your environmental footprint, support sustainable communities, and have the trip of a lifetime, it’s practical to keep several key factors in mind during your search for the perfect destination.

 

Public Transportation

If you’re planning on thoroughly exploring a city while sparing the environmental cost of driving or taking a cab, you’ll want to do some background research on available methods of public transportation. Many cities offer relevant info through municipal websites, and travel forums can also shed light on possible options. Those feeling up to a bit of exercise might consider renting a bike or walking more than they otherwise might.

 

Low-Impact Accommodations

Luckily for green travelers, the cheapest places to stay are often the most eco-friendly. Camping is always a good choice, especially when the weather is mild. Hostels are also usually less impactful than full-fledged hotels. If all else fails, certain hotels emphasize sustainable energy and environmental standards.

 

Green Space

Picturesque parks, clear lakes, or a few nice hiking trails make for ideal scenery, and great entertainment. Few things are more enjoyable than a summer morning swim, followed by a hike past rolling hills, ice-capped mountains, or gorgeous greenery. If you’re crazy about the outdoors, look for a place with plentiful choices for green recreation.

 

Walkability

Some towns are spread out wide, making walking between accommodations and attractions difficult. In these cases, it may be best to find lodgings in an area where activities of interest are as concentrated as possible, as walking is an effective way to lower overall impact.

 

Local Businesses

Supporting the local economy is a core component of green travel. Doing so could be difficult in cities with chains such as McDonalds or Subway far outnumbering unique restaurants, grocers, and local shops. Getting in touch with the culture of the area involves stepping beyond the familiar, so places where fast food isn’t the dominant food option are usually preferable.

 

Recycling

Plastic continues to pile high in landfills across the globe; thankfully, recycling is also being adopted on a widespread scale. Many villages and small towns have implemented recycling programs. If you do end up somewhere with no recycling policy, bringing along reusable items can cut down on waste.

 

Cultural Experience

Green travel is about more than just packing light, or taking the bus when you can. Spending some time absorbed in the culture of an area is essentially what going green is all about; lessening your environmental impact is simply a way of preserving the beauty that surrounds a culture, and opening yourself to situations in which you may need to leave your comfortable bubble.

Cheap Solo Travel Tricks

Cheap Solo Travel Tricks

Solo travel expenses may carry a slightly higher price tag; after all, the costs aren’t shared with anyone else. But saving money on a lone voyage is far from impossible, and traveling on a budget doesn’t have to be restrictive. With knowledge of available resources, foresight and a bit of luck, anyone can snag a few fantastic travel deals, and embark on their next odyssey without breaking the bank.

 

Cheap travel essentials

Making the most of traveling solo means never neglecting the off season, when crowds are sparse and deals are easy to come by. It’s also a good idea to build a budget ahead of time that accounts for your preferences; perhaps you’d like to spend more on entertainment, or maybe your priority is sampling the local cuisine. Those for whom the journey matters more than the destination might look into locations where prices in general are lower, as there are plenty of worthwhile places to visit where living costs are minimal. Even some cruise lines offer both off-season discounts and special solo traveler pricing.

 

Inexpensive accomodations

Vacation rentals like Airbnb are a great alternative to hotels; in addition, summer travelers in select locations might be able to rent a university dorm room. Other avenues not to be overlooked include couchsurfing, as well as package deals from traditional providers like AAA or Costco. Hostels often have a communal vibe, and may be perfect for travelers seeking to socialize.

 

Eating on a budget

If you’re craving top cuisine at its cheapest, look no further than the lunch menu. At high-end restaurants, dinners are usually more expensive than lunch, but the quality of food doesn’t change. Street vendors with long lines and a steaming, fresh selection are usually a safe bet. Eating vegetarian, or purchasing from the deli or produce sections of local grocers will also save money, and staying hydrated can be as inexpensive as carrying an empty water bottle through airport security and filling it at the gate.

 

Staying in touch

Getting a local (or multi-country) SIM card, and installing it into an unlocked phone is a cheap way to communicate abroad. If you’d prefer to leave your expensive new phone at home, you can always buy an older model, or rent a used phone. Budget hotels usually offer free-wifi as a perk, and you can usually find free wifi in chain establishments like Mcdonalds, or in coffee shops. Be sure to make use of apps like Skype, Facetime and WhatsApp, which enable calling and texting using only wifi. Many free travel apps also offer guides and other valuable assistance.

 

Travel can be expensive, especially for those who go it alone. Thanks to these and so many more useful strategies for reducing the costs of travel, however, the solo expedition of a lifetime has never been more affordable.

America’s Hidden Travel Spots

America's Hidden Travel Spots

There is no shortage of beautiful places across the US, but the majority of them aren’t found on the average vacationer’s itinerary. If you’re willing to venture off the tourist-trodden path, you may end up in one of this country’s breathtaking, bizarre, or otherwise unforgettable travel spots. For those adventurous spirits seeking a place to start, here are just a few of America’s little-known, or ‘should-not-be-missed’ places.

 

Door County, Wisconsin

Located on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County is overflowing with natural scenery and local art. The county’s 104-year-old Peninsula State Park receives around one million visitors each year, many of whom come to hike, climb and swim along sprawling shorelines. Door’s numerous lighthouses are works of architectural mastery, which double as nature observation areas.

 

Arcata, California

If soaring between the world’s tallest trees sounds exhilarating, you might want to schedule a trip to Arcata. A hamlet nestled away in Humboldt County, Arcata is surrounded by stoic marshlands, as well as a giant redwood forest. Here, the North Coast Adventure Center presents an opportunity to experience redwoods in a way unlike any other; travelers can ascend to the treetops, then strap into the Center’s three ziplines and fly among the hundred-foot-tall trees at thrilling speeds.

 

Beacon, New York

Those visiting New York City might consider making the less than 90 minute drive to Beacon, a town that also never sleeps, especially during its Second Saturday extravaganzas. I’ve been fond of Beacon since I was a kid, and went to summer camp just outside the village. On the second Saturday of every month, art galleries and stores stocked with unique antiques stay open extra late to hold special events. The town is a haven for food enthusiasts as well; gourmet restaurants abound, and produce comes fresh from the field at the Beacon Farmers Market. Many of the town’s shops are set against a fabulous riverfront backdrop, which also boasts sites of historical interest, like the ruins of Bannerman’s Castle. Driving either of the two routes to Beacon from New York City, Route 9 along the Hudson, or the woodsy Taconic State Parkway, alone would make the trip worthwhile.

 

Kodiak Island, Alaska

America’s second largest island bears little resemblance to the rest of the country; its Russian monuments and Orthodox churches, there from before 1867, when the United States purchased Alaska from Russia. What’s left of the Russian influence on Kodiak provides a striking contrast to the island’s Native American roots. That diversity is mirrored in the island’s wide range of wildlife, which includes the aptly named Kodiak bear. With gorgeous sights in every direction, Kodiak isle is raw nature at its best: a mecca for bikers, hikers, and all manner of outdoor fanatics.

 

Pikeville, Kentucky

Deep in the Kentucky hills is where America’s most legendary family dispute boiled over into bloodshed. History buffs know that the Hatfields and McCoys warred along the winding paths of Pikeville 150 years ago; nowadays, however, the area plays host to a much different kind of competition: ATV racing. Pikeville’s Hatfield-McCoy trail is the perfect place to ride; its rugged and varied terrain spans a seven-county swath of magnificent valleys and vistas.

 

These are only a few of the unforgettable experiences awaiting travelers willing to stray from the beaten path of American tourism. Those willing to traverse the US with open minds and an explorer’s spirit are guaranteed journeys of a lifetime.

About Peter Jutro

Peter Jutro has a passion for travel and exploration, as well as cartography and the history of maps. Having traveled extensively over the past 50 years, Peter has had the opportunity to learn a great deal about people and the world as a whole. He is a firm believer in his wife Ellen’s adage that “the more you travel, the bigger the world gets.”

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, Peter Jutro is always excited about the opportunities that a new place and culture have to offer. Some of his fondest memories include his honeymoon in Switzerland, a country that has felt like a second home to his family, as well as a research trip to Central Siberia where he had the exciting opportunity to work with the Russians on environmental issues.

An intently curious individual, Peter Jutro is continually looking to explore what exists around the world. While he may be learning about a culture’s history, studying its environmental concerns, or he and his wife might be hiking and scuba diving in one of a number of countries for pleasure, Peter always appreciates how travel serves as a catalyst for education, personal growth, and developing friendships.

Biodiversity In The Florida Keys

Peter Jutro is currently in the process of writing a book about Lignumvitae Key, an island in the Florida Keys. He has been involved in research and in the preservation of this area since the early 1970’s. Dr. Jutro finds it an incredibly fascinating place for historical, political, and biological reasons. The Lignumvitae Key Aquatic Preserve encompasses 7,000 acres of seagrass meadows, deep water channels, hard bottom communities, and mangrove wetlands. The island itself includes the last pristine lowland tropical forest remaining in the United States.

Berlin: A Family Connection

Of German-Jewish descent, Peter Jutro has an extremely personal connection to Berlin, the city from which his family emigrated to the United States. Just prior to World War II, his late father spent several months as a concentration camp prisoner in a Berlin suburb.  Recently, Peter was excited to find a journal among his family’s historical documents; This journal had been written in by his father in 1939, and detailed life in the concentration camp. This inside look at the concentration camp, as well as the close personal connection with the author, makes this find a unique historical document. Peter is currently in the process of transcribing and translating the manuscript into English so that his father’s experiences can be broadly shared.

Professional Background

Peter Jutro dedicated more than 35 years to Federal service, serving in a variety of positions involved with Environmental Policy and National Security. Most recently, Dr. Jutro was Acting Associate EPA Administrator for Homeland Security. Before that, he was Deputy Director for Science and Policy and Director of the Washington office of EPA’s National Homeland Security Research Center. This group is responsible for the research needed to provide the science and technology behind the EPA’s disaster mandates, which fall primarily in the areas of decontamination, water protection, risk assessment, and resilience. His earlier work in academia, on Congressional Staff, and with Federal Agencies, dealt largely with risk assessment, global climate change and biological diversity.