As we are constantly told we should be more eco-friendly and consider our environmental actions, green methods of travelling continues to be on the rise. Stories about carbon footprints and emissions are always in the limelight in the press, but by employing some useful travel strategies there are no reasons why you should renege on your traveling plans abroad.
How to become a more environmentally-conscious traveller? Read on for some top tips:
Travel as Light as Possible
Travelling lighter can help both you and the environment in many ways. The benefits for doing this are immense. Packing lightly automatically means that you’ll carry less and have less to unpack – helpful if you are traveling to many destinations. The main benefit of traveling light however is that the lighter your case, the less fuel the mode of transport you use will use. You don’t need us to tell you that less fuel consumption means less carbon emissions!
Research Your Destination
Many vacation destinations around the world have environmental concerns and offer their own green methods of travel. These concerns can range from the protection of endangered animals, the salvation of protected wetlands, or the conservation of plant life critical to an areas environment. By researching your destination ahead of time, you can be better informed as to how to not to disturb or place these things in jeopardy. Plus, doing this might also save you a fine or two if you do flout the law.
As popular tourist sites are looking into ways for being more “green”, you’ll notice hotels clambering to fit environmentally-friendly criteria. You can check websites of the state you are visiting and find these hotels and book to stay in them. By getting your information from a state department website, you will know that the hotel has been through rigorous screening and is more environmental conscious than the next one.
Use Public Transport
While public transportation does not seem like the ideal way to ride in style, it can certainly reduce your carbon footprint. Vacation areas usually have a system of trolleys and buses ready and waiting to take guests from hotels to restaurants, airports, malls, museums, and other attractions. If you do decide to rent a vehicle, rent a compact car or a hybrid.
Recycle Your Consumables
Bringing your own reusable water bottles with you on travels can save you money and help better the environment. You can also reuse your toiletry bottles, especially things like shampoo and conditioner. Purchase small bottles and when you go on trips fill them up.
Another great tip is to avoid using the hotels toiletries. Yes they’re tempting but do you really need more? The same question goes for towels and sheets. Would you wash these every day at home? Probably not right? So why do it on vacation?
Many hotels have cards or door hangers that ask guests if they would like to conserve water and reuse their sheets and towels. Take advantage of this and if the hotel you’re staying in does not offer such a service, ask the front desk about it. No doubt they’d welcome the option not to wash more laundry!
Turning off the lights sounds like an easy one to remember – that’s because it is! You’d be surprised however just how many hotel guests leave lights on when they leave their rooms in hotels and hostels.
Exactly the same thing goes for air and heat. With the in-room thermostats, guests can set the room to whatever temperature they please yet sometimes that means running it constantly. Even when you’re travelling you should be conscious of the amount of energy you use and do your best to conserve it.
By shopping locally you are not just exposed to more of the culture of the area you visit but you’ll also aiding the local environment. By buying handmade souvenirs or fresh food made in the area you’ll help the economy of the destination and limit the amount of shipping from outside vendors. No shipping means less gas used and less air pollution of course!
Fuel Efficient Transportation
If you do plan to drive to your travels you can use a fuel efficient vehicle that is better for the environment. Ensure your car tires are properly inflated and are accelerating in a steady way and that your vehicle is properly maintaining a good and steady speed too. Remember the less the weight your car carries, the lesser emissions generated, so please don’t carry the things which you don’t need at all!
If you plan to fly, you can also do some environmentally friendly things. Try to travel on direct flights wherever possible, you’ll not only reach your destination much quicker, but you’ll successfully reduce your own carbon footprint too.
The same goes for traveling to and from the airport. Take advantage of airport transfers or can use some sort of public transport.
Use Green Technology
This last suggestion for environmental ways of travelling is a creative one. Take the time to look at new green inventions that are being put out in the world. Dow has solar shingles, Nokia has green phones and even modern clothes washing machines use a fraction of the water they used to use – use all these abroad!
Yes these things may cost a bit more to use but becoming an environmentally-conscious travel is our responsibility!
Hopefully you’ll take some of this advice and put it to good measure!