Minimize the Required Energy
Another vital aspect of sustainable travel is what you do during these travels. You already made the right decision to go to places that value sustainability and understand how to choose sustainable places for you to visit. What you do at the places you’re traveling is crucial because your presence impacts the place and the resources there. So, make sure you’re leaving behind a positive impact.
To ensure that you can leave a positive impact behind, let’s take a look at what you can do to minimize your carbon footprints at your travel destinations.
11. Consider your flight choices
Sometimes to get to your destination, there’s no other choice but to fly. Airplanes emit a high amount of carbon and with every take-off and landing, more carbon emits into the atmosphere. If you have no other choice but to fly, then try to get longer flights with fewer connections as this is better for the environment than shorter flights.
12. Carbon offset programs
This is something that’s picking up. You can offset your carbon footprint by helping to reduce carbon emissions somewhere else. For example, a company called TerraPass lets you calculate your carbon footprint and offset this by contributing to sustainable projects that are helping to reduce carbon.
13. Bring your own bottle/flask/thermos
Garbage is a problem everywhere. To help reduce the trash in the place you’re visiting, bring your own drinking bottle or flask. This way, you don’t have to keep buying new cups when you need a drink.
14. Walk or cycle
One of the best ways to enjoy a new place is to take a walk or leisurely cycle. Choosing to do this whenever you’re on vacation is also a great way to help reduce carbon emissions. Whenever possible, choose to walk or cycle as much as possible.
15. Sustainable at home, sustainable abroad
If you practice sustainable habits at home, make sure you bring this habit with you when traveling. “Little things” such as switching off the lights when not using, showering instead of taking a bath, or air drying your towels and clothes instead of using the hotel’s laundry service are all sustainable efforts that are great during traveling.
16. Multipurpose travel plug
If you’re always traveling, it’s a great idea to get a multipurpose travel plug. This nifty device is an excellent way to help reduce plastic because you can use it in many countries as the travel plug has many different types of plugs and also USB connections. This way, you don’t have to keep buying new plugs every time you’re in a new place.
17. Eco-conscious accommodations
Eco-hotel or sustainable hotels operate the same way as any commercial hotels, but they go the extra mile to do their bit for the environment. If possible, try to find eco-conscious accommodations where they have sustainable facilities such as using solar power for electricity, low-pressure water installations, no single-use plastic utensils, etc.
18. Say no to travel-size toiletries
As much as it’s convenient, travel-size toiletries contribute a lot to plastic waste in travel destinations. These plastic bottles are discarded after use by tourists, leaving many plastics in the local landfills. Choose a better way to bring your toiletries such as in glass bottles or recyclable packages.
19. Pack light
The heavier your luggage is, the more your transportation emits carbon into the atmosphere. Remember, traveling is about experiencing new places and not so much about fashion. No one’s going to know if you only bring four pieces of t-shirts on your trip!
To help extend the life of your clothing while on your trip, bring clothes made of natural materials like merino wool shirts and base layers—especially if your trip will be an active one. Merino wool naturally regulates your body temperature and wicks moisture away, keeping clothing fresh for longer than other fabrics like cotton or polyester.
20. By road or by rail
If possible, choose a different mode of transportation to get to your destination. Even though a car also emits carbon, it’s much less than an airplane. Even better, you can choose to travel by rail. Not only is it cleaner, but it’s also fun and a wonderful new way to discover a different style of traveling.
21. Travel small
Traveling in small groups is better than traveling in a large tour group. You’re able to manage your activities better as well as work together towards traveling sustainably.