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Living less unsustainably: travel

Most of us are making great efforts to reduce the climate-damaging gas emissions generated during our daily activities. And most of us have a place where we could make a bigger difference, but we don’t want to give up something we enjoy.

For me it’s skiing. For you, it could be wine tasting, a desire to have the latest cell phone, or a “fast fashion” addiction.

I’m going to focus on skiing — a sport I and many of my friends are passionate about, but see if you can apply the principles of pollution to your personal pursuit of pollution.

For my skiing time I try to stay in the mountains for several days. It’s a way for me to spend my ski patrol, recreational, or ski climbing days without going 150 miles for a single day of fun.

KLCC’s Master Gardener and Master Recycler even applies the principles of eco-sustainability to his ski trips, preferring to squeeze multiple ski days out of a single trip to the mountains.

I often take the staff bus, which does 240 passenger miles per gallon, or carpool to get 80 in my plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, but the city’s lack of snow means skiing always generates more emissions than one Bike ride along the Willamette River.

Friends with multi-resort ski passes tell me that the Epic Pass resorts seem to be committed to good recycling and green energy use, while the Ikon Pass resorts seem to be less sustainable. Just friends’ opinions, but it’s a reminder that you can choose where to spend your money and support businesses that are making sustainability a priority.

When traveling, choose and recommend accommodations that prioritize resource conservation.

The front-folded partial roll of toilet paper, signs telling you how to prevent unused towels from being washed, and energy-efficient heating are all attributes that can make your stay less impactful.

And you can toss all your trash in a bin, turn off the lights when you leave, and bring a compost bin so your apple seeds and other leftovers don’t end up in the hotel trash and create methane long after your vacation.

I’m John Fischer from KLCC’s Living Less Unsustainably.

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