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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2010
CONTACT: DEP Press Office, (850) 245-2112

'Tis the Season to Travel Green

~Travel tips for Florida’s 4.8 million travelers to green their holiday vacation~

TALLAHASSEE – With more than 4.8 million Florida residents taking a trip of 50 miles or more away from home between Tuesday, December 23 and Sunday, January 2 and more than 92.3 million people travelling nationwide, according to AAA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Easy As One initiative and the Florida Green Lodging Program are encouraging Florida residents and guests to engage in eco-friendly practices while traveling and vacationing. Driving green, staying in a Green Lodging facility and opting to be a green guest at a hotel or family member’s house are a few easy ways to give a gift to the environment.

“Travelers can continue to be environmentally conscious even while traveling and vacationing over the holiday season by taking habits from home on the road and learning a few new travel conservation tips,” said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Brad Stombock. “Checking tire pressure, turning off lights, recycling and reusing towels and linens are a few easy actions that collectively add up to protect Florida’s natural resources.”

Staying at a designated Green Lodging facility is an easy way to be green because to become a designated member of the voluntary Florida Green Lodging Program, lodging facilities adopt numerous green practices that conserve energy, reduce water consumption, protect air quality and reduce waste. The program includes facilities of all sizes, from local bed and breakfast inns to resorts with thousands of rooms for a comfortable, green stay.

Book one of the 13 recently added properties or one of the 671 properties statewide for a holiday trip or future vacation and experience firsthand the benefits of staying green. Newly designated properties throughout Florida include:

  • Aloft Hotel, Tallahassee
  • Blue Angel Inn by Best Western, Pensacola
  • Embassy Suites, Estero
  • Epic Hotel, Miami
  • Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot, Orlando
  • Hampton Inn Dadeland, Miami
  • Hilton Garden Inn, Miramar
  • Holiday Inn, Sarasota
  • Hyatt Siesta Key Resort, Sarasota
  • Residence Inn by Marriot, Lake Mary
  • Sheraton Vistana Villages by Starwood Vacations, Orlando
  • Springhill Suites by Marriot, Tampa

Be a green guest by implementing the following practices to make overnight stays more eco-friendly at a hotel or when staying with family and friends:

  • Keep showers short and turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • When leaving a room, turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices.
  • Reuse sheets and towels instead of having them changed every day. Many hotels will not replace towels if they are left hanging up neatly. If you are not sure, write a note for the housekeeping staff or notify the front desk.
  • Bring toiletries and a drinking cup rather than using the prepackaged ones provided at many hotels.
  • Know the hotel’s recycling program and sort trash accordingly. If the hotel does not recycle, consider taking empty bottles or other items home to recycle them there.
  • Give hotels feedback. Express appreciation for any eco-friendly programs or encourage the management to go green in the future.

Drive green by implementing any or all of the following conservation tips for on the road travel:

  • Have your car checked before you get on the road. Most repair shops will do this free of charge. Replacing air and fuel filters, changing oil regularly and properly inflating tires reduces air pollution and improves gas mileage.
  • Avoid rapid acceleration to reduce fuel consumption and use cruise control on highway trips.
  • Avoid hard braking and sudden stops. Stay alert and anticipate traffic lights, stop signs and merges. Use turn signals. Traffic will move more smoothly which saves fuel for everyone.
  • For any stop lasting more than a minute, shut off the engine rather than letting it idle.
  • Avoid warming the engine up before driving. It is not necessary, even in cold weather.

About the Florida Green Lodging Program Launched in 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program establishes environmental guidelines for lodging facilities to conserve natural resources and prevent pollution. As incentive for the designation, the state recommends the designated Green Lodging properties to companies and trade organizations seeking environmentally conscientious lodging and convention facilities. For more information about the Florida Green Lodging Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/greenlodging.

About Easy As One Easy As One - Ordinary actions. Extraordinary results. is an environmental awareness initiative by DEP that highlights easy actions each one of us can take to make sustainable practices part of our daily lives at home, at school, at work and at play. As the lead agency in state government for environmental management and stewardship, DEP encourages citizens to adopt green habits that protect Florida’s air and water quality, conserve water and reduce waste. A sustainable Florida depends on the collective efforts of citizens, groups, businesses, industry and government.

vehicles

"Travelers can continue to be environmentally conscious even while traveling and vacationing over the holiday season by taking habits from home on the road and learning a few new travel conservation tips"

Brad Stombock
DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives

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Last updated: December 29, 2010

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