Traveling and exploring the world will always be fun and exciting. However, not too many travelers realize the impact they leave on the environment with every trip they take. Which is why this Earth Day, we would like to share with you some tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling, so you can be an eco-warrior even in the simplest of ways as you embark on your adventures:
Consider other options aside from flying.
Flying takes the bulk of one’s carbon footprint whenever they travel, so if there are other ways you can reach your destination without having to fly—say, by riding a bus or by taking the train—you might want to consider them. After all, if it means getting beautiful views from your window throughout the journey, it’s going to be totally worth it.
If you have to fly, take a direct flight.
Now, if you’re not left with much choice but to fly, take a direct route, especially if your flight is under three (3) hours. You see, a plane generates the most carbon emissions during take-off and landing, so you could just imagine the damage taking patched up connecting flights can make in the atmosphere.
Book a room at an eco-friendly hotel.
Ever heard of green hotels? Well, they follow a standard, averaging 13 lbs of carbon per room per night, meaning staying in one would cut your consumption drastically. To find a green hotel, you should look for a place that uses renewable energy, has received or was built for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, and uses eco-friendly products—among many others.
If this sounds too technical for you, you may opt to crash at a friend’s couch, which is probably your most economic option.
If you’re not a light packer, it’s about time you rethink your packing habits. You may not realize it, but the heavier a plane weighs, the more carbon dioxide it produces, and every little thing you decide to bring adds up to the total weight of your plane. So learn some nifty techniques on how to pack lighter. It won’t just save you a lot of time and effort, but also spare the planet from unnecessary carbon emissions.
Don’t hoard guide books and maps.
While you can easily pick up guide books and maps at the airport upon your arrival, going paperless on your trip is the best way to go. Use an app-based map, instead, and search the web for attractions that are of interest to you. Saving paper means saving trees, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing waste.
If you’re staying at a hotel, avoid having your room made up and your toiletries restocked every day. Besides, you don’t need new towels and sheets daily, even if you wish to live the suite life during your trip. You can also bring your own toothbrush, toothpaste, and tiny bottles of your choice of hair products or body wash.
Take public transportation.
When it comes to getting around your destination, the most eco-friendly option is obviously taking public transportation. Not only is it cheap, it also gives you a good glimpse of the local scene. If you’re staying at a hostel, you could also ask if they have a bike that you can rent to reach short distances. If they don’t, exploring a place by foot doesn’t sound like a bad idea either!
If your dish is locally-prepared, it means it took less pollution for its ingredients to reach the kitchen, and eventually, your table. Besides, why settle for fast food or international fare, when local fare is fresher and more delicious?
Do you have eco-friendly practices whenever you travel? Let us know in the comments!
*Featured image by JTKP on Shutterstock