While we can’t control things like the carbon footprint of flying or the water and chemicals hotels use to launder your sheets, there are many things we can do on a personal level to be an eco-friendly traveler.
But why would you want to travel eco-friendly?
One obvious reason is that it’s better for our planet. Carbon emissions from aviation, cars and other modes of transport contribute significantly to global warming. The consequences of global warming are pretty disastrous. From biodiversity loss to the flooding of major cities, there are plenty of reasons to want to prevent this.
If you are looking to book a staycation or a trip a few hours away from home, follow these tips and watch your footprints turn greener with each step of your journey.
While many of us won’t be flying for a while, this is important to remember.
One of the simplest ways to cut back on emissions is to fly less often or don’t fly at all. But if you do need to fly, try to book non-stop flights whenever you can. Short distance flights and layovers not only make the trip longer, but the more you takeoff and land, the more CO2 you emit. So, instead of choosing that cheap flight, just spend a couple more dollars on a direct flight and you will thank yourself later.
For those who want to see the world, offset your carbon emissions when you fly. What does that mean?
Carbon offsets offer a way to balance out your pollution by investing in projects that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. If you’re taking a long-haul flight from New York City to Paris, for example, you can purchase a carbon offset to account for that specific environmental impact.
You’ve probably never thought about this, but flying economy class is actually better than flying business class. Business class takes up loads of physical space on the plane, while economy class carries more people. The amount of water used and the amount of waste produced in business class airport lounges and fancy facilities is also significantly higher than that of economy class.
As you pack, only pack the essentials and consider bringing eco-friendly products with you like a reusable straw and water bottle. A reusable stainless steel water bottle you can refill over and over again will save you money and is better for the planet.
Also, try to pack light. This may seem insignificant, but packing light has a huge environmental impact. A heavy suitcase will make the airplane use more fuel than a light backpack. And you will be doing your back a favor too.
Whether you’re traveling or not, purchasing local food and products means that nobody had to drive those goods across the country just to get them there. Buying or eating the local produce also encourages local businesses.
While we may not always want to take the bus or rail, mass transit is by far the greener way to travel on land as it uses a reduced amount of fuel per passenger as compared to a car. Even better, when possible, why not walk or bike? One of the best ways to see any place and experience the local nuances is by walking or biking around, and it’s great for your health too.
Spread the Word About Eco-Friendly Ways to Travel
Eco-friendly tourism is about making simple, ethical choices to reduce your carbon footprint in the places you travel. And a part of the change relies on educating others about the more eco-friendly ways they can act. So, do your best to leave the places you visit a better place and show others how they can do the same.