Most of us are looking for ways to live more eco-friendly lives. We’re quite rightly aware of the dangers of climate change and other damage that we’re doing to our planet, and looking for ways to cut emissions, reduce waste and generally be kinder to the environment. For people trying to live more sustainable lifestyles, travel can present a problem. There are so many advantages to traveling, and seeing the world, but travel itself is very bad for our carbon impact, and flying can be especially troublesome.
Fortunately, being more environmentally friendly doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy travel. There are plenty of things that you can do to make traveling more eco-friendly. Here are some tips.
6 Ways to Make Traveling More Eco-Friendly
Have an Adventure
Often, the least sustainable way to enjoy a vacation is to jet off to a huge resort in the middle of summer with hundreds or thousands of other travelers. More adventurous holidays, like overlanding with a rooftop tent, walking holidays, camping, hiking off the beaten track, mountain biking, or enjoying water sports tend to be more environmentally friendly. They’re also a great way to see more interesting places, have some fun, and get some exercise.
Even better, you don’t always need to travel across the world for an adventure. Things like hiking, or overlanding can be enjoyed in your home country without the need to fly at all. If you are interested in overlanding, where the journey is more important than the destination, take a look at this list of the best roof top tents.
The lighter the vehicle, the less fuel it uses. This applies to planes, cars, buses, and every other option. So, however, you are traveling, try to pack as light as possible. If every traveler reduced their baggage slightly, over a year it could make a big difference.
Try Carbon Offsetting
If you do choose to fly, take the time to offset your carbon emissions before you go. The most common way to do this is to calculate your travel emissions and fund an equivalent carbon saving elsewhere. There are plenty of websites that will help you to both calculate and donate. But take the time to do your research, to make sure you are donating to the most beneficial sources.
Stick to Your Home Habits
When we stay in a hotel it’s normal to enjoy a little luxury. It’s great to have time off from household chores and to feel looked after for a change. But a lot of this luxury is pointless and bad for the environment. You wouldn’t change your towels every day at home, so do you need to when you stay in a hotel? Try to stick to habits like turning lights off when you don’t need them, using the same towels, and opening windows instead of turning the aircon up.
Enjoy Local Foods and Drinks
When we’re at home, eating local produce reduces the distance our food has traveled. This reduces the energy needed to get it onto our plates and helps us to support local businesses. The same is true when we’re on vacation. Enjoy local produce, eat in restaurants that cook with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and drink local beer, instead of paying for exports. This will reduce your carbon impact and help to support the local economy, which is a big benefit of travel.
Book Conservation Conscious Excursions
When we are on vacation, we often like to visit attractions that feature animals. While many of these treat animals much better than they used to, not all of them invest in conservation. If you are planning to visit any of these attractions, do some research too, to make sure you are spending your money in the right places.
As a general rule, the further you travel, the worse your trip will be for the environment. So, try to stay closer to home, but even then, make sure you are doing what you can to reduce the impact your break has on the environment.