Cultivating a mindful disposition as you experience the world serves to reduce your carbon footprints. Every choice we make has an immediate impact on the surrounding. If we mobilize towards a conscious way of living, it only makes sense to implement the same concepts in and around how we travel.
Responsible tourism does not imply renouncing all transportation facilities. It is about adopting modest options to reduce our influence on a destination. That said, we’ve compiled a list of simple methods to travel sustainably, one that pleases you and our precious mother nature. Let’s go!
Choose To Walk As Much As Possible
The most eco-friendly way to traverse a new place is by walking or biking. These alternatives are also more enjoyable, as they render you to get some exercise while exploring fascinating locales. If you are traveling longer distances, consider taking public transit— busses and trains. And if you must rent a car for unavoidable reasons, choose one that is fuel-efficient. Aiming for alternate means of transport benefits the environment, and also pushes you to acknowledge the minor nuances you may have overlooked while exclusively traveling by automobiles.
Mindful Air Travel— Flight Diet
The aviation industry is responsible for 2.4% of global CO2 emissions and almost 5% of global warming. The industry’s growing involvement in climatic changes is placing numerous treasured ecosystems in jeopardy. Does this mean we should, altogether, abandon airline traveling?
While it is almost impossible to cross countries that involve covering thousands of miles without boarding an airplane, there are still several ways to help the environment. Certain airlines offer the option to purchase "carbon offsets,"--- a tool that allows travelers to calculate their environmental impact, and approximate the monetary value it is susceptible to for neutralizing it. These packages are specifically designed to help cut carbon emissions. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling by air is selecting direct or non-stop flights— arrivals and departures account for the majority of an airline's carbon pollution, and layover adds to the carbon emission release in large volumes. It is also preferable to reserve an economy seat over a business ticket— a first-class ticket on a long-haul flight generates four times more carbon than an economy seat.
Ecotourism is a brilliant platform to make a meaningful difference. As more individuals go for holidays and vacations, its significance is growing with each passing year. If you care about the planet and humanity and would like to exercise an environmentally friendly stay during your trips, choose hotels with eco-certifications.
Given the rising concern for the nature and importance of ecotourism, there are probably more green accommodation options than you may be aware of. Some of the certification labels you want to watch out for while choosing accommodations include—
- LEED certification (global) DA
- Green Tourism Active Certification (global)
- Green Tourism Certification (UK- Europe)
- Sustainable Travel Ireland certification (Ireland- Europe)
- Ecolabel program (Europe)
- Energy Star Certification (United States)
- GREAT Green Deal Certification Program (Central America)
- Fair Trade Tourism (Africa)
- Eco Certification (Australia)
While at it, you also want to opt for places that run their power on solar energy, practice recycling programs, have energy-efficient lighting solutions, and other environmental initiatives. But most importantly, wherever you stay, make it a habit to turn off the air conditioner/ thermostat and lights when you’re not inside the room.
Carry Eco-Friendly Travel Bags
Traveling has an indisputable ecological impact, from carbon pollution to plastic garbage. But we can leverage our sense of adventure by being mindful of our traveling bags. Purchasing eco-friendly travel cosmetic bags and luggage from ethical brands not only lowers the carbon footprint of our travel, but also promotes fairer treatment of the environment and mankind. Sustainable travel backpacks and suitcases are functional, adaptable, and long-lasting. You only need to purchase them once and you're good to go for many years, if not a lifetime. Eco-friendly products made with organic cotton have a 46% lesser climate impact than conventional cotton. So, if you're looking for a new travel bag, consider purchasing from ethical product manufacturers who care about humans and the environment.
Say Yes To Paperless Flying
We no longer live in a world that requires hardcopy of itineraries and travelogues, making travel more convenient than ever. All you have to do is scan your smartphone at the airports— a straightforward and quick process. The same can be applied to travel maps and tour guidebooks. Ample accessibility of e-manuals makes it possible to acquire information without using paper. These digital guidebooks help to reduce waste and also make traveling easier. But if you love that old-school charm and need maps to visit places, get used maps from local stores and return them before you leave.
Modern technology is constantly adapting to come up with fresh, greener ways to travel. The principle is convenient, and the pleasure of traveling paperless is significantly superior— you get to save time, avoid the last-minute hassle, get the latest flight updates, and most importantly, reduce your carbon footprint.
Eat and Buy Local
It's exciting to delight your dear ones with a souvenir from your trip. When visiting markets and international shopping complexes to shop for gifts, consider items produced by local craftsmen. You will be supporting the livelihood of local artisans. Moreover, foreign goods have a far greater carbon output, and it would be detrimental to promote mementos and souvenirs created on a foreign production floor that doesn't respect nature or treat their labors fairly.
The concept of sustainable shopping during vacation also implies the bag you use to transport your belongings— bring a sustainable tote or a backpack with you so you can not only put your items in one place but can also shave the need to use plastic and paper bags. Plastic bags are one of the most common sources of pollution in the ocean. Cleaning up plastic litter adds up to $11 billion each year in the United States alone. Paper bags are more degradable than plastic bags but because they are heavier than plastic, they take up 1% of landfills (plastics take 0.4%) and generate waste quantities equivalent to plastic bags. It’s simple— bring your organic cotton tote with you for an eco-friendly destination shopping.
Pack As Light As Possible
Packing light is an important aspect of eco-travel. When you pack light, you also have the liberation of stress-free travel, and we don’t think the planet or the economy would also protest that idea! Traveling with as small baggage as possible reduces environmental costs. How? Heavier passenger luggage requires doubling levels of aircraft fuel consumption, which affects the amount of CO2 generation. Another vital reason to curb your luggage volume is that you might buy new things while on vacation. To effectively compartmentalize your belongings and make extra space, use zippered pockets and cotton toiletry bags for storing skin essentials. You'll almost certainly be bringing back souvenirs for your loved ones, so you want to plan and leave enough room to avoid extra luggage for the return journey.
Leaving Behind No Hiking Litters
Vacations are about abandoning our everyday thoughts, going to new places to admire and explore the unfamiliar, extraordinary cultures. And if you’re a nature lover, hiking surely must check the list.
A pleasant hike is calming and refreshing— the pure highland air cleanses our energy and rejuvenates the soul. But like any recreational activity, hiking or trekking also leaves an ecological footprint, which is why enjoying nature without negatively compromising the environment is important.
Staying on designated pathways to avoid disturbing the flora or fauna in the area, leading no wild campfires behind, using eco-friendly hiking backpacks, minimizing trash output, wearing organic cotton clothing that is friendly to the environment, using eco-friendly sunscreen, being respectful of local cultures and practices, are all some of the mindful measures you can take to make your hiking trip eco-friendly.
Green holidays imply that the visitor leaves as little of a carbon imprint as possible in the countries they visit. We can all help to create a better world by making a few adjustments in our travel habits— one that supports nature and promotes the prosperity of the planet.