Being an eco-friendly traveler is hard. Indulging in flights and fancy hotels can leave behind a large environmental impact. However, we’ve compiled 5 ways for you to become a greener traveler.
1. Offset Your Flight
Flying is without a doubt the least sustainable way to travel. However, it is usually unavoidable. Therefore, some airlines allow passengers to offset their carbon footprint created by their travel. For example, Delta and United can calculate your carbon footprint on their website, and equate that to a dollar figure. You can then donate that dollar amount, or miles, to a environmental friendly charity.
2. Tour Cities on Foot
Public transportation and taxis are everywhere, especially if you are in a tourist hotspot. However, you also have the option to walk. It’s good for the environment and good for your body. However, if walking is not an option try renting a bike, hybrid car or utilizing car-pooling services.
3. Choose Your Accommodations Wisely
Airbnb released a study saying usage of their services (home stays) resulted in a reduction in energy and water usage. However, there are also many “green hotel” options that follow sustainable practices. The Green Hotel Association can offer you a list of these hotels. However, if that also isn’t a option be conscious about your daily decisions – reuse towels and sheets, take short showers, turn off the lights and air-conditioner.
4. Opt for E-Tickets
This may be the easiest suggestion to follow. Nowadays, everyone has a smart phone. After checking in for you flight, most airlines will prompt you regarding your boarding pass – would you like a paper copy or e-ticket. Go for the e-ticket. It’s a small choice but can make a big impact if done multiple times.
5. Pack Smart & Light
The heavier your luggage, the more fuel is needed for the plane to travel. If everyone on the plane took one less pair of shoes, the plane would need much less fuel. If you are able to get everything into a carry-on suitcase, even better, as it will be much easier for you and you won’t be stuck waiting at baggage claim. Also, while packing grab a reusable water bottle. Being able to fill up your bottle on your trip will also save you money in the long run.