05 Mar Sustainable Travel; Tips and Tricks
We cannot hide from the truth here; travelling in itself is not really a sustainable practice. Carbon emissions from flying and long-distance travel do have an impact on the environment but to completely cross travel off your list may be a little extreme. You do not have to miss out on experiencing parts of the world that may motivate you more to help save it. From cultures different than our own to nature at it’s finest- if you do plan to travel, there are ways that you can and do it more sustainably.
Carbon Offset Flights
Every time we are in a position to make a decision and go for the eco-friendlier option, it all adds up. There are small ways that you can travel more sustainable and they are very easy to implement. The Air Transport Action group reports that 2% of all carbon emissions induced by humans come from the aviation industry. In response, many airlines give you an option to offset flights by adding a few dollars to your flight that go towards funding for alternative energy sources. If possible, try to go paperless as well. Airlines and most travel companies allow you to hold your tickets onto your smartphones, so you do not need to waste paper and resources by having printed tickets and itineraries.
Stay in Sustainable Hotels
When choosing your accommodation there are ways you can also have an eco-friendlier stay. If budget permits, be more selective about any hotels you use. Are there accommodation options that promote sustainably focused practices? Airbnb is another great way alternative for eco-friendlier travel. Studies carried out by Cleantech Group in 2014 show that those who use Airbnb over a hotel, actually use less energy and water during their stay. Airbnb generally also promotes the use of more reusable items and often can have more sustainable waste removal practices. If you do end up staying in a hotel, you can make decisions like reusing your towels and not getting your linen changed every day, to save on water.
Zero Waste Travel Accessories
By travelling with reusable items; such as cutlery, straws, water bottles and coffee cups when possible you can save on the waste of having to use disposable items while travelling. Bamboo toothbrushes, Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and body wash bars are also an efficient way to bring your grooming essentials, and they face fewer restrictions as they are solids and not liquids. Best of all, no plastic required! If you are travelling to locations where you are not able to drink the running water- invest in purification tablets so you can avoid having to use bottled water.
Travelling sustainably is a lot easier than one might think. Just like with incorporating sustainable practices into other parts of your life, eco-friendly travelling requires just that little more planning. If you do make a mistake, or on places like on the aeroplanes where you may not be able to take your reusable cutlery and water bottles, do not let that discourage you. As we mentioned earlier; it’s the little things that count. In a world where every little bit helps, it is better to have a multitude of people doing the right thing most of the time than having a select few doing it perfectly.