Green Travel Resources

The Importance of Making Your North Carolina Travel and Vacation Green

The natural wonders and cultural treasures of the North Carolina mountains and foothills are here for us today because generations have worked to protect and to sustain them for our enrichment and enjoyment. We encourage all heritage travelers - residents and visitors alike - to be mindful of their travel impacts and to help preserve these heritage resources for the future. Making decisions that create greener North Carolina travel plans and environmentally-conscious NC vacations keep the Blue Ridge National Heritage area protected and accessible for generations to come. (Photo by Mark File).

Here are a few resources to help green your North Carolina Travel and NC Vacation Plans:

Geotraveler Tips for Your NC Vacation

Get some great ideas for enriching your travels from Geotraveler Tips, National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations.

North Carolina Travel Tips for Making Your Vacation Greener

From the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University and the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development

  • North Carolina has a number of breathtaking and easily reached natural areas. By staying on designated trails and roads you help protect these areas by preventing erosion and keeping sensitive plants and ecosystems from being trampled.
  • North Carolina's vibrant panoramas make it an ideal destination to enjoy by car on the many scenic byways, and you save gas, reduce air pollution, and protect wildlife by respecting designated speed limits on your trip.
  • The diversity of nature makes North Carolina an interesting place for people and pets. By keeping pets on a leash and under control you can help protect other visitors and wildlife. And remembering to bring a plastic bag for pet waste can help keep streams and creeks cleaner.
  • When you support local artists and craftsmen by purchasing locally made handicrafts and products, you help preserve North Carolina's rich cultural heritage and help sustain the next generation of local artists.
  • Supporting local agriculture is one of the best ways to enjoy the rich flavors of North Carolina while reducing the distance food has to travel and supporting local farmers.
  • While enjoying our many historic downtowns, you can help keep things clean by making sure you put trash in waste bins. Many towns and businesses offer recycling for visitors, so if you can't find a recycling bin, ask for one.
  • There is a lot of North Carolina that can only be seen using non-motorized forms of transportation. Traveling that way helps reduce air and noise pollution.
  • North Carolina's rich history has given the state a number of historic sites and artifacts.  You can reduce your impact on the sites by following all posted signs and not touching or removing objects.
  • To help reduce noise and impact, try traveling in small groups and be respectful of other visitors.
  • The rich environment of North Carolina makes it a great place to see a wide range of wildlife. Help protect these animals by viewing from a distance, not feeding any wild animal, and never following or harassing wildlife.

Resources for Buying Local on Your NC Vacation


Local Food Guide
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Farmers Markets Directory
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

What's in Season - Fruits and Vegetables
NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services