Have you ever thought about how your travel choices affect the environment? We all want to live in a world where we can enjoy nature and not feel guilty for how our decisions impact the planet.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can reduce your environmental impact when traveling, so you don’t have to worry! In this blog post, we will share 11 things that you can do to help minimize the effects of your travels on the environment.
1) When booking flights, consider how much CO2 emissions the flight produces or how high their fuel efficiency is.
Luckily, you can use a few different websites to help you find more environmentally-friendly flights.
One of these is the “Atmosfair Airline Index” which calculates how much CO² your flight will produce and how efficient the airline is. Recently, even Google has added carbon emissions estimates when you search flights.
2) Book local experiences.
When you schedule local activities, such as city trips or hikes, you’re lowering your transportation needs while also preserving tourism dollars. Homestays, local guides, and volunteer initiatives that contribute to the economy are all excellent strategies to ensure your funds are invested back into the community.
3) Pack with a purpose.
When packing clothes, collect a selection of essential objects that go well together and can be layered.
Not only will this make your life easier, but it will also help you reduce your overall carbon footprint by virtue of the fact that your luggage is more likely to be lighter and easier to transport — whether you’re traveling by plane, train, automobile, or boat.
Choose a basic color scheme of natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, and wool; and goods that can be easily hand-washed or air-dried. Consider that the clothes you travel with are likely to get dirty, worn, and washed frequently, so invest in items that are meant to last.
4) When booking a hotel or resort, look for options that are eco-friendly or green whenever possible.
There are websites that feature green hotels, resorts, and other travel accommodations.
When booking accommodations, you can look for places that use renewable energy sources, have low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water or provide recycling and waste reduction programs.
5) Reduce the amount of plastic you use.
If possible, avoid purchasing food in single-use plastic packaging and opt for reusable containers or bags instead.
For example, pack a reusable water bottle that is better for the planet than using disposable bottles every day while traveling.
Other great reusable and easy-to-pack items are steel or collapsable straw, bamboo toothbrushes, and tote bags.
6) Eat and drink locally.
When possible, try to purchase food and drinks from local businesses rather than large chains. Not only will you be supporting the local economy, but you’ll also be reducing your environmental impact by eating and drinking locally-sourced items.
7) Save water.
If you stay at a green establishment, they will probably take care of this for you! However, if not, be conscious about how much water you use when showering and how long your showers last to reduce how much water is used daily.
Ask how your hotel handles fresh linens and towels to avoid washing them every day. If the accommodation does not offer this service, make sure to ask how often they change your linens and towels so you can plan how frequently to do laundry.
8) If you are staying in a hotel, ask how they recycle and if there is a recycling program.
Sometimes all it takes to have an impact on the environment is asking your hotel how they handle waste disposal!
Driving also emits greenhouse gases, so try carpooling when possible to reduce your individual emissions and have fewer cars on the road. When it comes to automobiles, keep in mind that for each person (and their luggage and animals), the higher the carbon footprint per mile.
If you are driving long distances, take into account how many passengers you have in the car. The more people in the car, the less gas per person is used!
Sites like blablacar.com and carpoolworld.com can help you locate people who want to share the driving and journey with you — and might even pay for your gas if need be!
10) Travel with others.
If you are traveling with friends or family, share transportation options like taking public transportation instead of everyone driving their own car. Or how about splitting a hotel room with someone if you are staying for more than one night? This will help reduce how much energy is used on a daily basis.
11) Check out how your room is heated and cooled.
Is it possible to adjust the temperature in your hotel or resort? This will help keep you comfortable while reducing how much energy you use when staying at a green establishment.
There are plenty of ways that you can reduce how much energy and resources your travels use. Follow these 11 tips to help keep our planet healthy while also enjoying all the beautiful places it has to offer!