By Megan McLaughlin

Summer is here and for many, that means more travel. Gas prices are higher, roads are more congested and shore destinations are packed with travelers. If you’re looking to save a little money and make mother nature proud, you should consider some of these ways to make your summer a little more eco-friendly.

Road and Travel Magazine offers some great tips for vacationers, like using public transportation or a bike to get around your destination or “Hit the farmer’s markets for locally grown foods, skip the chain restaurants in favor of locally-owned establishments, and buy fair trade products as souvenirs to make sure your money goes into the locals’ pockets.” Both of these tips are great advice, but one of the biggest pieces of advice offered by Road and Travel is “Give your house a vacation.” Don’t leave lights on when you’re not home. Instead, put a few lights on timers while you’re gone. Also, adjust your thermostat to a more modest setting; you don’t want your house to be a heat box when you return, but if no one’s home, there’s no need to keep your normal, probably chilly, air-conditioned setting!

Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint this summer is to purchase eco-friendly travel items. Greenzer offers greener ways to shop online and one of the brands sold there is Solio. “”Plug into the Sun” as Solio says of its eco-friendly, solar-powered charger for handheld electronic devices. Solio brings you green convenience, eliminating the burden to keep track of many different chargers for every different device you own.” Solio offers hybrid chargers to power your iPod, GPS and many other electronic devices while you’re on the go.

So whether you’re traveling to the beach, the lake, a warmer destination to soak up the sun or a cooler destination to beat the heat, consider some of the simple things you can do to be a little more eco-friendly this summer!

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