Today it seems like everyone is trying to be a bit more eco-friendly in all their life choices. We all know that it’s high time we started to be more proactive when it comes to safeguarding the planet and its environment or else we will face some very dire consequences. So, there really is no wonder that a lot of people are changing their lives to be greener and a lot more environmentally friendly.
One thing that we all know can be hugely detrimental to the environment is travel. Planes emit large amounts of various gasses that all contribute to pollution that has some very negative consequences to the world around us. Because of this, many travelers are trying to cut back on their travel so that they aren’t responsible for some of the terrible effects on the environment. Some are even quitting travel completely in a bid to lead completely green lives.
But does that mean that you need to stop all your travel in order to be environmentally friendly? Well, that might not be the case. In fact, there are ways you can continue to travel and for it to be sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible. Read on to find out the various things you can do.
Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations
One of the first things that you need to think about is the destination to which you want to travel. You might think that they are all equal when it comes to their carbon emissions, but that isn’t actually the case. There are some popular destinations that are a lot more environmentally minded and have done all that they can to cut down the emissions as a whole city or location. For instance, the European cities of Berlin and Copenhagen are known for being eco-friendly as they have many green initiatives in place to encourage their citizens and the people visiting to be as environmentally friendly as possible. If you are interested in traveling to an all-inclusive resort, then you should make sure it is sustainable and gets most of its energy from renewable resources.
Look For Direct Flights
You don’t have to stop flying just yet, but there are ways you can cut down your carbon emissions caused by flying. For instance, did you know that a plane emits the most when it is in the takeoff and landing phases of flight? So, that means that the more planes you need to take, then the more emissions will be caused by your journey. As you can see then, it is a lot more eco-friendly to look for direct flights whenever you travel.
Travel With An Airline That Offsets Their Carbon Emissions
These days, the majority of airlines know that the amount of carbon emitted by their planes is bad news and, thankfully, many are now trying to do something to counter-balance it all. Lots of airlines have set up carbon off-set initiatives to try to do just this. As part of these kinds of programs and initiatives, most airlines offer their customers the chance to make a donation depending on the length of their journey. Most of the time, these donations will go to charities that focus on reforesting areas that have seen a lot of their forests destroyed in the past. If you take a look at one of the many online guides to carbon offsetting, you should be able to work out how much your airline will suggest that you donate before you set off.
Try To Use Buses And Trains As Much As Possible
Of course, there are still many reasons to feel guilty about traveling a lot by plane, which is one reason why many people are now trying to travel more by train or bus. Even though these forms of transports still emit carbon into the atmosphere, they don’t emit nearly half as much as what a single flight does. Thankfully, if you are traveling around mainland Europe, there are lots of long-distance trains that go between various countries, so you won’t always have to rely on flying to a new destination.
It’s true that cars are another type of transport that is known to be bad for the environment. However, if you get your car checked by a mechanic, then there are a few ways you can actually reduce its emissions so that you are able to travel in it guilt-free. For instance, a mechanic can carry out a smog test which should tell you just how many emissions are coming out of it when you are driving. This also shows whether it is emitting within the legal amount. As cars get older, they tend to emit more carbon, and this can creep over the legal limit. So, even if you aren’t interested in driving environmentally friendly as possible, it’s still necessary to get your car checked out once it reaches a certain age.
Stay In Sustainable Accommodation
When you are looking to book some accommodation for your trip away, it’s always best to try and find somewhere that is green and sustainable. Thankfully, that shouldn’t be too difficult as eco-friendly travel is now a booming industry and there are lots of great hotels popping up all over that offer travelers a sustainable place to stay. There are a few different things that you need to look for in your sustainable accommodation. One of the most obvious is somewhere that sources their energy from renewable sources. It’s also worth checking that the building was built with recycled or sustainable materials. There are other factors to check as well, such as the food that is cooked in any onsite restaurants. It needs to be locally sourced and seasonal to have the most minimal impact on the environment.
Reuse And Recycle
Whilst you are on your travels, it’s wise to reuse and recycle as much as you possibly can. Instead of throwing your rubbish in the general trash, you should see if any of it can be recycled. This should be the case with most cardboard, paper, and glass. Some plastics can now be recycled as well, but you will need to check with the local recycling laws in the area where you are. Try to reuse as much as possible as well. Instead of buying bottled water all the time, you can take a refillable bottle that you can fill up at any taps that you pass. Of course, there may be some travel locations where this is not advisable due to the quality of the water. For instance, if you are traveling through South-East Asia or Africa, it could be unsafe to drink tap water, so you might need to stick to bottled water. Reusing other items as much as possible can help to offset this excessive use of plastic.
If you are traveling by plane, then every kilo in your suitcase counts. That’s because a plane will be emitting a lot more carbon the more weight it is carrying. If everyone on the flight has the maximum baggage allowance with them, then the plane is going to be emitting the maximum amount of carbon that it can – and that will certainly make for a very non-green journey! So, if at all possible, you should try to stick to some carry-on luggage. If you do need to check in a bag to the hold, try to keep it as light as possible. Don’t just fill it because you have the space to do so!
Eat And Drink Locally
Whenever you are in a new location, you should try to stick to eating local specialities and dishes. That’s because these will likely be made with ingredients that are grown and sourced locally. So, they won’t have needed to use any ingredients or food that have been imported from other countries. As a result, the dishes will have very small carbon footprints, and you don’t have to feel too bad about eating them. If possible, it’s also best to stick to food and dishes that are in season. That’s because food grown out of season requires a lot of industrial farming in order to produce it, which is very bad for the environment indeed.
Stick To Hiking Paths
If you ever go hiking or cycling when on your travels, it is always important that you stick to the official paths and tracks. If you were to go off them and explore along your own route, you could be causing a lot of damage to the surrounding environment. You might be ruining the habitats for different wildlife and flora. If the area in which you are traveling is home to some endangered species then this could be very dangerous for them indeed. So, always be responsible and stick to the signed paths.
Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with a few different ways that you can be a traveler and environmentally at the same time. Now you don’t have to feel so guilty about your vacations!