Summer is coming–and faster than you might think. With only 2 months left until travel season approaches, you might want to do some globe-trotting. Unfortunately, a paradox exists at the heart of having worldly adventures: you love the world and want to see more of its vast peoples and various cultures, but by going to these spectacular places you increase your carbon footprint, thereby making these places less spectacular by damaging the very planet you are trying to learn from.
If this thought scares you and you want to make that footprint smaller, maybe even do some good–fear not! These four apps will help you give back to the planet while you take in its splendor.
This free app, available for both ios and Android, is all about sustainable living. It helps you book a hotel, attraction, or even a business meeting with an eco-friendly service.
With destinations all over the world, you are sure to be spoiled by the number of choices you have. You can guarantee your choice is green thanks to Green Globe’s checklist of over 40 items, including recycling practices to giving back to the local environment.
Once you’ve arrived, the greenest way to get around is on a bicycle. Splinster is a peer-to-peer sharing app that lets you rent a bicycle from anyone in the area willing to let you borrow it.
You can choose from different types of bikes, different loan lengths, and Splinster will show you your cost. It’s almost always cheaper than any traditional mode of transportation (unless you go for a really high-end cycle), and has the added benefit of zero emissions!
As a fun bonus, Spinlister also lets you rent winter and water sport equipment. This means it doesn’t matter if you are snow or surfboarding, you can save money on equipment and emissions during every season.
Find Spinlister on the App store or the Play store.
This app, as it name suggests, provides city maps. The difference is that they have an astonishing level of detail. This saves you from having to purchase a large paper map, a transport map, or a guide to local attractions in a foreign location; this saves lots of paper.
This app isn’t free, but there is a trial version. When you download it, you get one free city and the option to upgrade to premium for the rest–and there are a lot.
It is available for both iPhones and Androids.
Paper–that isn’t something we think about wasting while traveling. We think about gas, money, water, electricity, toiletries….But this app helps you save the one thing that falls by the wayside. Tripit collects all of your plans into one place so that you don’t have to print off multiple itineraries. All you have to do is forward emails about your trip(s) to a single, automated email address.
Tripit also works alongside other apps, such as AppInTheAir, which helps keep track of flights, and PackPoint, which helps you pack smarter.
This app is available for free and features in-app purchases. Find it for Apple and Android.