Planning a trip and want to make sure it’s as environmentally friendly as possible? You’re not alone. We’re all thinking a little too much about the guilt that comes with a few hours in the sky.
Here are some ways you can be a more conscious, sustainable traveler and reduce your negative impact on the planet while still having an amazing vacation.
Choose Sustainable Accommodation
One of the most significant ways you can reduce your environmental impact while traveling is by staying in eco-friendly accommodation. Look for hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals that have implemented sustainable practices, such as using energy-efficient appliances, recycling, and sourcing local and organic food.
Use Public Transportation or Rent a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle
Whenever possible, try to use more eco-friendly travel options like walking, biking, and carpooling to your destination instead of driving.
Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and see parts of the destination that you might not have otherwise. You never know, you might meet some amazing people along the way.
If you do need to rent a car, consider a hybrid or electric vehicle to minimize your carbon emissions as cars and buses account for 45% of the total emissions per year.
Many car rental companies now offer a wider range of options, and they can be an affordable and eco-friendly way to get around.
Pack Light and Use Reusable Items
Packing light not only makes your trip more enjoyable, but it also helps reduce your carbon footprint. The less weight your plane or car has to carry, the less fuel it will use.
Additionally, try to bring reusable items with you, such as a water bottle, utensils, and a cloth bag for shopping. This will help reduce the amount of single-use plastics you consume while traveling.
Support Local Businesses and Communities
When you’re traveling, it’s important to support local businesses and communities. This not only helps the local economy, but it also helps preserve the unique culture and traditions of the destination.
Try to eat at locally-owned restaurants, shop at local markets and stores, and participate in activities and tours offered by small, local businesses.
Practice Leave No Trace
Whenever you’re in a natural area, it’s essential to practice “leave no trace” principles. This means taking all of your trash with you, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife.
By following these principles, you can help preserve the beauty and integrity of the natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
Offset Your Carbon Emissions
Finally, if you’re concerned about your carbon emissions from flying or driving, you can offset them by supporting projects that help reduce carbon in the atmosphere. This can include things like reforestation, renewable energy, and methane capture.
By taking these simple steps, you can be a more sustainable traveler and feel a little less guilty when you’re sipping a beer on the beach.