Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is a growing trend among people of all ages. This extends beyond the home and work, with many people wanting to embrace sustainable travel while they satisfy their wanderlust.
Green-minded folks are exploring destinations while minimizing their environmental impact. One strong indicator of a city that supports green travel, dining and shopping is the availability of charging stations for electric cars. What might surprise you is that the number of these communities is growing rapidly.
This is good news because, despite a growing interest in driving electric, concerns about the availability of charging locations are holding people back from making the switch to clean, high-performing electric cars. Even though 48% of Northeasterners report seeing more charging stations in their area over the past year, 83% say there are not currently enough charging locations, according to a recent study conducted by Drive Change. Drive Electric. The problem is most people don’t know how to recognize the many stations already in downtown areas.
This has inspired Destination Electric, a new program supported by seven Northeast states that is teaming up with local business owners who want to demonstrate their support for electric cars. All Destination Electric businesses are located a close walk from charging, and a recognizable storefront decal, much like the visible rating guides found at many restaurants and retailers, alerts their customers that they could be charging while they visit. By highlighting the many cafes, ice cream shops, bookstores and other businesses that are electric car-friendly, the new program helps people to realize that charging stations are available to support driving electric right now!
The must-see destinations that support sustainable travel and participate in the Destination Electric movement are:
1. Madison & New Haven, CT
2. Provincetown & Northampton, MA
3. Portsmith & Dover, NH
4. Princetown & Jersey City, NJ
5. Hudson Valley, NY
6. Newport & Providence, RI
7. Stowe & White River Junction, VT
To learn more about the businesses that are participating in the campaign, visit driveelectricus.com/destination-electric. To be inspired by incredible images for your next green travel trip, visit www.instagram.com/driveelectricus.
While planning your trip to these destinations, consider some of these additional tips for simple sustainable travel:
Look for hotels that boast green efforts, such as the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, MA. From using green cleaning supplies to utilizing energy-efficient lighting, more hotels are taking eco-friendly steps and will typically advertise these to guests on the website. If not, simply call to inquire. Not finding any options? One easy way to live greener at any hotel is to skip the daily maid service. By not having your towels and sheets changed out daily, you help save water and energy.
Make time to check out local markets and small businesses, like Commodities Natural Market in Stowe, VT, R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT, and Anchor Bend Glassworks in Newport, RI. Not only will you get a true taste of the local culture, you'll meet some residents and feel at home. Plus, because these markets and shops often offer locally made products and specialty foods, you'll be helping to cut down on emissions from having to move goods from across the country or even from overseas.
Eat at independent restaurants
Similarly, check out the independent restaurant scene when bellies grumble. Look for restaurants that source food locally, like Buttermilk Falls Inn nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley offering a farm-to-table restaurant, an organic kitchen garden and orchard. You'll get a true taste of farm-grown fruits and vegetables that have often been picked that very same day! Need some snacks for your hotel? Check out a downtown farmers market to pick up some goodies.
Stock your car right
You'll want some tasty treats for the road, but that doesn't mean you need to resort to prepackaged junk food. Instead, pack supplies in reusable containers and cloth bags for easy access, and wash and use them again later in your trip. What's more, bring a reusable water bottle for each person in your crew so you can fill up and stay hydrated without the plastic waste.
Relax when you arrive
After a long trip, unwind upon arrival by visiting spas and fitness studios that promote healthy living, balance and relaxation. Check out Tranquility Den Spa in Princeton, NJ, Barre & Soul in Portsmouth, NH, or The Bodhi Spa in Newport, RI.
Traveling green is a wonderful way to explore new places and contribute to supporting a sustainable planet. With more destinations embracing eco-friendly practices — including having readily-available electric car chargers — you can feel good about your travel choice.