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Sunday, 7 June 2009

Travelling Green AND Frugal

My girlfriend is a certified travel-holic. She delights in visiting outstation, overseas locations. Of course, there are caveats to that claim -- she enjoys, more than not, traipsing into a crowded shopping mall, made exotic by its remote location, filled with discounts on foreign brands. It pays to travel because one gets to buy foreign goodies at "local" prices. It's a fact that MNG, the Spanish line of women's clothes, is regarded as a luxury item here in Malaysia while being nothing extraordinary in its home country. U2 and G2000, from Hong Kong, are "premium goods" in Malaysia due to their more comfortable cutting, but in Hong Kong (from where they originate) they are regarded as ordinary, run of the mill products.

But I digress. Travelling, whether overseas, on the seas, or by the sea, offers many chances for the frugalist in us to show our frugal habits off. An article on MSN's MSNBC piqued my interest. Going green, saving the Earth, and saving a few dimes at the same time -- who would have thought that they could share the same boat? Hence the following list of things to keep in mind when going travelling, thanks to that very handy MSNBC article.

  1. Travelling light means a lighter load for your ride -- which saves petrol. Make a smaller carbon footprint.
  2. Borrow travel guidebooks from the library -- save trees. Save money, too.
  3. Reuse bottles for toiletries -- keep plastic bottles out of the landfill! Save money by bulk purchase.
  4. Use public transportation -- make a smaller carbon footprint.
  5. Rent hybrid cars by preference, and rent only if necessary.
  6. Service the car to increase fuel efficiency.
  7. Buy local -- fruits, handicraft, etc.
  8. Bring your own water bottle. Prevents plastic bottles going into landfills.
The last suggestion has me thinking about how to reuse wine bottles... One idea is to use them as water carafes, as do many restaurants. If anybody has seen a good bottle cap, please leave a comment!