It’s not too late to start doing these things now every time you travel
Sustainable travel is not something out of your comfort zone. In fact, it can become an actionable plan to put you in your comfort zone. Especially if you are climate-conscious, wanting to change your travel habits in the right direction towards a sustainable lifestyle.
No matter your travel style, whether budget, luxury or in-between, everyone can start with doing a little something extra to defray the greenhouse gases circulating the globe which has given rise to climate change in our lifetime.
This list will give you a starting point of ideas to put you on the path to reducing your carbon footprint.
- TRANSPORTATION; USE SUSTAINABLE MODES
From airlines to rail travel to car rental to bus travel, which is best for you to use? Start with checking the website of each company you are considering using, to see if they are already practicing sustainable travel policies such as using renewable fuels, instead of fossil fuel. There are at least 30 airlines that also allow you to purchase carbon offsets when purchasing an airline ticket.
- ACCOMODATIONS; BOOK GREEN HOTELS
There are a variety of major hotel chains worldwide that have been or are starting to use green practices. The demand is increasing as people realize we are heading in the wrong direction away from sustainable travel practices. We will always need accommodations for traveling, why not make it a point to use the ones that support sustainability?
- SOUVENIRS; BUY FROM LOCAL ARTISANS
Ditch buying all the tourist souvenirs and instead take great photos. But if you must buy items to bring home as gifts, then carefully select items that are made sustainably (in other words not entirely out of plastic) you’ll be helping fund the local economy too.
- DON’T FORGET TO GO GREEN WHILE YOU’RE GONE
Reduce your electric consumption by unplugging unused devices and appliances. Lower your thermostat in winter and raise it a bit in summer. Put your mail on hold, maybe even stop getting paper catalogs opting for email catalogs instead.
- STAY GREEN AT YOUR DESTINATION
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, disposing of things in the appropriate containers. This might be something you already do at home so it’s a step to continue when traveling. Keep your energy consumption low with water and electricity usage. If it’s too hot inside, don’t use the air-conditioning, but step outside into the fresh air. Enjoy some outdoor time.
- PACKING; TRAVEL LIGHT
Learn to bring a carry-on instead of checking a big suitcase of clothing you might not even wear. Travel light with sustainable, eco-friendly clothing that you can easily wash while traveling. (bring a small bit of eco-friendly detergent packets to wash small items in the sink being careful not to overuse water) You can also support the local laundry businesses as well.
- ENVIRONMENT; RESPECT IT BY LEAVING NO TRACE
This is important to not over trample places of beauty. Being mindful of where you step, what you touch, and how you dispose of your trash outside.
- BRING A ZERO-WASTE KIT
Create your own reusable zero-waste kit by packing bamboo utensils, stainless steel washable straws, a collapsible water bottle you can refill, reusable food bags, and put it all in a foldable daypack for carrying around.
- DOWNLOAD AN APP TO MEASURE YOUR EMISSIONS
When in doubt, before you go somewhere check the Carbon Footprint Calculator to see how much your trip will be contributing to the greenhouse gas effect, or better yet, help you decide to reduce where you can. One way is to purchase carbon offsets on their site leading you to find out how inexpensive it is to defray your carbon footprint ahead of time.
IT’S NOT TOO HARD TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
The future is ours to adapt, change and become more responsibly conscious when we travel anywhere in the world. Small steps lead up to big changes when we pull together.
Over time these simple 9 things can grow into your own personal legacy that you can share with others by showing them how easy it is to practice sustainable travel habits.