Many of us want to look after what remains of our fragile environment as possible, but there’s a problem. We also want to travel, but that leaves a pretty big carbon footprint. People can travel as sustainably as possible, and this guide will help the conscientious traveler feel more at ease on their adventures.
If you want to check out somewhere on the other side of the planet, the chances are the best way to get there is to fly. Flying can produce a large carbon footprint, but there are ways to minimize your impact on the environment. Firstly, flying as direct as possible will reduce the emissions from your travel, because it’s taking off and landing that cause the highest pollution levels.
Make sure to fly in economy class too, as flying first class takes up room on the plane that would allow extra passengers on board. Some airlines even allow you to calculate your carbon footprint into a dollar value, which you can then donate the equivalent to environmental charities.
In many of the travel hotspots in the world some tours will be run by local people. These tours help to sustain communities and the environment in that area, but not all tours are like this. If you are doing a tour, then you can try to find one that gives back and helps the people affected the most by the tourism industry in their homes.
It might seem like a simple solution, but they are often the best. Once you get to your destination, you can reduce the emissions that you are responsible for if you choose to walk everywhere. You are most likely going to be visiting a city, and most are perfect for walking around. Plus, you’ll actually get to immerse yourself in the culture of your destination, and is that kind of what going traveling was all about in the first place?
Do Not Disturb
When we go to a hotel, the cleaning staff will generally come into the room once per day if we want and replace our towels and bedding. You probably don’t change your towels and linen that often at home, so why do it when you’re in a hotel?
By keeping the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door, you are reducing your carbon footprint by preventing the cleaning staff from entering. Hotels use a lot of energy in keeping their bedding and towels laundered, but it’s not necessary.
Water is a necessity for people while they travel, and the temptation to buy bottled water is normally pretty high. To resist this urge to contribute to more single-use plastics being used, make sure to pack a refillable bottle in your pack. That way, you can have water whenever you want, so long as you remember to refill it regularly.
Traveling is always going to create some form of carbon footprint. At least by following these methods, you can make that as small as possible.