sustainable traveler has made its way to the forefront of the travel industry. After all, why ruin something you adore? Nobody desires to see paradise destroyed. When we return to a heavily populated, polluted area, we all shudder. We are all unwilling to help with it.
Being a courteous traveler is the definition of being an eco-friendly traveler.
As we make an effort to be more ecologically sensitive, the following inquiries arise for travelers:
How exactly do we be a Sustainable Traveler “green”?
What can we do while we tour the world to lessen our carbon footprint?
How might we engage with the communities we visit more effectively?
What adjustments are possible that will genuinely be beneficial?
The solution is not to make people feel bad about flying, but should we all just remain at home and never leave?
Fortunately, there are many things we as travelers can do to lessen our environmental impact and support the sustainability of the places we visit.
Here are 5 specific actions you can take as a tourist to lessen your environmental impact:
1. Stay localized
Although traveling doesn’t necessarily involve going far away, the exotic is always alluring. Travel is the art of discovery and adventure, and those things may happen everywhere. Find a place near to your house that you haven’t been to, then drive there (or, even better, take the bus). You can never predict what you’ll run into!
The location labeled “X” is usually the most intriguing on a map.
2. Select eco-friendly transportation options
Try to use the bus or train whenever you can be a Sustainable Traveler. This not only lessens your carbon footprint but also saves you money because bus companies like Megabus, FlixBus, and Greyhound frequently offer low-cost tickets available.
And if you’re driving, think about giving other people a ride to minimize expenses and reduce pollution. You may save money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time since many individuals will gladly contribute to the cost of petrol if it saves them time. Win-win! Your transportation emissions per person will be reduced by half, if not more, as a result. To discover rideshares in your area, use websites like BlaBlaCar, Couchsurfing, and Craigslist.
When possible, steer clear of traveling lengthy distances alone by plane or car.
3. Move Slowly
When we travel overseas, we have a propensity to hurry from location to location in an effort to take in as many sights as we can. I comprehend. Since not everyone can live on the road permanently, I can see why individuals “travel fast” when they have a limited amount of time and are unsure of their future plans.
However, since you move around a lot, this not only increases your transportation expenditures but also results in a larger carbon imprint. There are a lot of buses, trains, and airplanes. The better option is to take fewer.
Additionally, being a responsible traveler entails doing good deeds for the places you visit in addition to minimizing your carbon footprint. However, day trips have a significant negative influence on infrastructure, which is why the Austrian city of Hallstatt has put restrictions on them. So make an effort to spend at least one night elsewhere.
Fewer travel locations are better for the local community as well as your budget and the environment.
4. Pack wisely
There are a few items you should bring with you to travel more sustainably, however the details will depend on where you’re going:
- Reusable water bottle – Nalgene makes durable bottles that are BPA-free and made in the USA.
- Water filter – Many destinations don’t have potable water, which means you’re going to be using tons of single-use plastic. Instead, bring a Lifestraw or SteriPen. These devices will purify your water so you can drink from practically anywhere, ensuring you can avoid single-use plastic bottles.
- Tote bag/stuff sack – If you’re traveling long-term, bring a tote back or an extra stuff sack. You can use them for buying groceries and avoid plastic bags. At other times, they can be used to keep your bag organized.
- Diva cup – This is a reusable menstrual cup. While I can’t speak from personal experience, it’s something our resident solo female travel expert packs when she travels, since menstrual products are not always available (and can also be quite wasteful).
- Utensils – Travel cutlery (a fork, knife, and spoon, or just a spork or a set of chopsticks) can come in handy if you’re on a budget and plan on cooking your own meals. But they’re also useful for street food and eating out, as you can avoid plastic cutlery.
5. Take Less Connections
Even while I oppose flight stigma, there is no getting around the fact that air travel has a significant carbon footprint for Sustainable Traveler. You could also strive to take fewer flights with more direct connections. Since takeoff and landing account for a sizeable amount of an airplane’s emissions, flying shorter distances with more connections would result in much greater emissions.
Simply said, direct flights are more ecologically friendly, so whenever you can, choose them.