Traveling is one of the best things in life. Going to different places, seeing other cultures, experiencing what the rest of the world has to offer; it’s no wonder why traveling is one of the most sought-after goals of people of all ages.
However, traveling, especially to different countries, increases your carbon footprint. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways you can reduce your travel-related impact on the environment, starting with the following.
Take longer vacations
Instead of traveling multiple times a year, take longer vacations to reduce your frequency of flying. Apart from reducing your carbon footprint, you can also save money on your trips by booking longer stays (which are often discounted) and taking fewer flights. And if you’re doing something adventurous like taking an all-inclusive Alaskan fishing trip, a longer vacation will help you make the most out of it.
Opt for alternative travel methods
Out of all modes of transport, flying emits the most carbon emissions. That said, taking alternative travel methods (driving, bus, train) can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and may even save you money, albeit while sacrificing time.
Choose direct flights
A plane produces the most carbon emissions during take-off and landing. So if you cannot avoid flying, choose direct flights as much as possible.
Go for economy
First-class seats occupy more space on a plane, which means the amount of fuel used per passenger is higher than in the economy section. While flying first-class is undoubtedly more desirable than a flying coach, consider the amount of carbon that you will contribute to the environment. A few hours of non-luxurious flying is definitely worth it if it means reducing your carbon footprint, as well as your travel expenses.
Walk, walk, walk
When you get to your destination, try to walk more instead of taking taxis or public transportation. Apart from reducing your carbon footprint, walking can also help you save money, and you will get to see more sights this way.
Alternatively, you can rent a bike so that you can cover more ground while also getting some exercise.
The less stuff you bring, the less fuel you consume in transit. If you haven’t mastered the art of packing light yet, here are some tips for you:
- Buy small travel containers for toiletries
- Pack laundry detergent so you can bring fewer clothes and do laundry at your hotel
- Opt for multi-purpose stuff
- Leave unnecessary gadgets and electronics at home
- Remove packaging from newly bought items before you leave
- Choose light luggage, carry-ons, day bags, etc.
Bring reusable containers
Don’t forget to pack a reusable water bottle so that you don’t have to buy plastic water bottles while traveling. It’s also a good idea to bring reusable utensils and a food container to cut down on disposables. Similarly, bring a reusable bag to avoid plastic and paper bags while shopping for groceries or souvenirs.
Skip the daily housekeeping
Hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your hotel room door to skip the daily housekeeping. In this way, you can reduce the resources spent on vacuuming the carpet, washing the linens, and cleaning the bathroom.
Order just enough food
Eating is one of the best activities that come with traveling. However, don’t get too excited and order more than you can eat. If you do have leftovers, pack them in your reusable food container so that it won’t be wasted.
Turn off everything
Before leaving, turn off and unplug everything that does not need to run on power in your house. You’d be surprised at how much energy can be consumed when an appliance or electronic is left plugged in.
Everything we do in this world increases our carbon footprint, so the question now is how we can reduce it. When traveling, keep these tips in mind–not only will you minimize your impact on the environment, but you may also keep your travel expenses to a minimum.