Simply put: A plane uses more fuel during takeoff and landing, so by limiting the amount of runway time you are helping conserve fuel. While it might be cheaper to book a flight with several stops, you’ll just be wasting time and precious fuel.
Also, pack lightly. The more pounds of luggage a plane carries, the more fuel it needs to fly. So think about that when you pack that fifth pair of shoes.
Want to offset your carbon footprint? Plant a tree or donate to an organization like the Conservation Fund which works to aid reforestation (rebuilding our natural forests). Throughout a tree’s lifetime, it will absorb carbon dioxide and, in exchange, give off oxygen into our atmosphere. While we can’t completely cancel out the impact of flying, planting more trees can definitely help.
When driving on interstates, use your cruise control. Keeping your car at a constant speed will conserve gas (you won’t be speeding up only to put on your brakes). And if you set it at the speed limit, you’re pretty much guaranteed no speeding tickets.
If you can’t find a “green” hotel option, you can still make a difference. Reuse your bed linens and towels. Call the front desk to request that your room not be restocked with fresh linens and that the toiletries not be replenished (it will be tough resisting the urge to stock up on sample-size soaps, we know).
If the hotel doesn’t recycle, you still can. Carry your water bottle and newspaper with you until you find a proper receptacle, and be sure to let the management know you would like a recycling program offered to guests.
You can also make a difference simply by taking shorter showers and by turning off the lights, TV, and air conditioner when you leave the rooms.
Often the best way to really see a city is on foot, but an even better way is on bicycle (especially when you are in foreign countries with small, winding streets). You never have to worry about parking, and the rates for day bike rentals are usually very inexpensive.
If you need to cover more ground than peddling will permit, use public transit. Tour buses, of course, will take you by the “must-sees,” but public buses often take similar routes (and cost a lot less). Get a bus schedule from your hotel concierge. If you’re in a major city, hop on the train/subway. It is often the quickest and most affordable means of transportation.