Part of the appeal of traveling to exotic destinations is seeing beautiful locations. However, if we don’t all collectively become more conscious of our personal impacts on the environment, those gorgeous destinations might not stay gorgeous for long. The good news is that you can go green while you’re traveling, getting the most out of your vacation and resting easy knowing that you’ve done your part to keep your travel destination beautiful. Here are some tips for going green while traveling.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling is to be smart with how and what you pack. Enter the “green” travel kit. If you’ve never stopped to think about how much waste you create while traveling, you’d be surprised. You can offset the effects by packing some environmentally friendly accessories in your bag. Invest in a set of reusable utensils so that you can eat while you’re traveling without using the single-use plastic variety. If you’re bringing food with you on the plane, consider packing it in a stainless-steel, leakproof container. The same goes for drinking while you’re on the road. A stainless-steel water bottle should be one of the first things you buy, whether you’re traveling or not. Finally, if you’re going to be staying at your destination for a longer period and buying groceries, don’t forget to pack some reusable shopping bags.
Another—though less direct—way to decrease your carbon footprint while flying is to keep your luggage limited to just a carryon. The reason is pretty simple. The more bags you check, the heavier the plane is. The heavier the plane, the more fuel it requires. You get the picture, right?
Speaking of flying, if you’re planning to travel domestically, consider driving instead. The carbon footprint of a typical road trip is much smaller than those left by commercial airlines.
When you get to your destination, shop around for some eco-friendly hotel options. These days, most major hotels are extremely serious about their impact on the environment.
Finally, if you’re going to be spending an extended period of time at your destination, consider taking some extra steps to give something back to the environment. Volunteer for a beach clean-up or plant a tree if you can. Every little bit helps, and even a half-hour stroll along the beach and picking up plastic here and there matters.