Traveling is one of the best experiences there is. It is a way to relax and to learn as we explore what the world has to offer. Travelling can also be good for our mental health. But there is also a cost associated to travel, particularly environmental. So why are’nt we giving back to the world by keeping it green while traveling?
We owe it to the environment, and ourselves play our part in taking care of the Earth. That part can be fulfilled while travelling as well. So here are some things that can help you in that direction.
Before You Leave
Staying green while traveling really starts before you leave. Here are some tips to you can follow:
Consider your destination when choosing your mode of transportation. When traveling to a destination 500 miles or so away, flying non-stop via coach is actually the greenest option. This is especially true if you’re traveling solo or with a significant other.
Generally speaking, traveling by bus is the greenest way to go. The carbon footprint of buses is not even half a pound of CO2 per traveled mile.
Whatever you do, don’t use an SUV or first-class seat. You’ll be traveling in style, yes, but you won’t be a green traveler.
It’s also a good idea to do your research so you can book a green hotel. Contact hotels before booking and ask them about their green initiatives. Better yet if possible, stay with a family or friend at your location.
Pack light so you can travel light.
You may not know it yet, but the extra pounds of baggage can add to your carbon footprint. Why do you think airlines charge for extra baggage? It’s because the heavier the load is, the more energy is needed.
The same thing applies even if you’re traveling by land. Cars with heavier loads will leave a bigger carbon footprint.
This is why it’s important that you plan ahead. How many days is the trip going to be? Where are you going? What activities are you going to do? Knowing these things can help you pack light so you don’t have to pack the things that you won’t need.
It’s also a good idea to pack reusable shopping bags in your luggage. They’re light and can help you stay green while out shopping at your destination. You can also carry a water bottle so you can simply refill at water fountains instead of buying bottled water.
Unplug all your appliances before leaving.
It’s not enough that you turn off home appliances. Unplug all appliances before you leave because no one’s going to use them anyway, unless of course someone is getting left behind. In that case, make sure to remind him to conserve energy.
At Your Destination
Here are some tips to stay green on your vacation:
It’s a good way to support the local economy. As a bonus, you’ll be helping out the environment by shopping for local food and products. Locally-made and produced food and products have a smaller carbon footprint. You’re enabling them by supporting them, allowing them to continue what they’ve been doing.
It also helps that local produce, especially organic ones, are healthier.
Make sure to be mindful when shopping for souvenirs. Try to determine the carbon footprint of the souvenirs that you’re looking at. Make sure not to buy a souvenir made out of endangered animals. You’ll be supporting an illegal trade if you do so, and could get you in trouble when you reach customs.
Use the shopping bag that you packed. Make sure to bring the reusable water bottle with you as well especially if you’re walking so you won’t get tempted to buy bottled drinks.
Move around the green way.
The best way to do so is to just walk around. It has no negative effect on the environment, it’s healthy for you, and it allows you to observe, explore and admire your destination. Another activity you can engage in is watching wildlife.
You can also bike around. You can simply rent a bike at your location. For longer destinations, you can use public transportation.
If you have to rent a car, rent a hybrid one. The car rental company will tempt you with upgrades. Some of them are even free. Politely decline them because these upgrades usually add to the footprint.
Stay green at the hotel.
If you’ve been staying green at home, there’s no reason for you not to do the same at the hotel or place where you’re staying at. Simply do the things you’ve been doing at home at the hotel. These include turning off the lights when not in use, keeping the showers short, turning off and unplugging appliances when not in use and the likes.
Reduce, reuse and recycle.
These are basic tips that apply everywhere. A good hotel should have a recycling program so make sure to ask ahead. If you’ve been given something that can be reused, like containers, make sure to reuse them to prolong their life.
Of course, it’s a good idea to reduce usage of things like containers, especially those that are non-perishable.
Make sure to dispose your trash accordingly!
Follow these Tips for your Next Trip
As you can see, you can still travel and stay green. Traveling is such a necessity nowadays, whether for business or pleasure, or even just a weekend getaway. You don’t have to give up traveling. You just have to make sure that you stay green. This can help sustain the travel industry because it’s heavily-reliant on the environment. Simply put, if we don’t take care of the environment, there won’t be a travel industry to speak of.
All Images are from Pixabay.com