You’re feeling the urge to travel, but you don’t want to hurt the planet you’re exploring. For every mile you travel, you put a little more pressure on the Earth. There must be a way to get around without using up valuable resources, you think. And there is! Here’s how to reduce your carbon footprint while travelling by learning ways to tread softly everywhere you go.
Believe You Can’t Fly
Getting anywhere by plane is incredibly easy; you save time and travel in comfort high in the sky. But planes are notorious consumers of fuel, and the carbon monoxide they emit is no good for the air and the Earth. Your car, however it’s been engineered for fuel efficiency and the like, isn’t a great alternative either. If you need to travel, consider a bus for quick trips that are just half day’s ride, or the train if you’re heading somewhere several states away. Both are better for the environment, and while you might think you can’t beat the view from the sky, you haven’t seen the loveliness of the country from a bus or train window. When you arrive at your destination, see if you can get around on a rented bike or other form of self-powered transportation.
Bring Only What You Need
Bringing one suitcase—or none—may sound ridiculous, but how much do you really need on your next trip? Packing light is smart because it places less stress on you and your means of transport. The more weight a plane, train, bus, or car must carry, the more fuel it expends. Think about what you really need to bring and what you can rent while there. Pack smart and try to keep to a single piece of carry-on luggage. Use what you bring sparingly.
Stay at Places Doing Their Part
You may have the most efficient and environmentally conscious home around, but what about where you stay during your trip? Shop around and ensure you’re giving your patronage to a hotel, bed and breakfast, or resort that’s gone green and taken steps to reduce its own carbon footprint. Eco-conscious accommodations will use energy-efficient lightbulbs, bathroom fixtures that lower water consumption, and housekeeping policies that ensure towels and sheets are kept clean and not wasted.
Eat Local and Clean Your Plate
Need another tip on how to reduce your carbon footprint while travelling? Wherever you go, take the opportunity to sample the local cuisine—with extra emphasis on local. You want your money to stay on the community, so instead of eating at an establishment run by a nationwide or worldwide chains, eat somewhere run by a local merchant. Check to see if they’re using produce and product from surrounding farms. This supports nearby farmers and reduces the distance your food has to travel to reach your plate. Finally, remember what your elders told you: clean your plate! Wasted food puts a bigger strain on both your wallet and the planet.