If you find yourself consumed by wanderlust, you’re not alone. Whether you’re an experienced globetrotter or are about to embark on your first journey, you’ve probably noticed that traveling isn’t exactly eco-friendly. From taking multiple planes to get to your desired destination to the resources you’ll exhaust once you arrive, traveling is an incredible way to see the world but it will undoubtedly have you leaving a heavy track of carbon footprints behind you.
The mission of this mini-guide on eco-friendly travel is to promote ecotourism and sustainability and to bring out the eco-conscious wanderlust in all of us. We’re not saying don’t travel, just try and be mindful of the environment when you do.
Select Your Airlines Carefully
Aircraft is responsible for about 3 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions which might not sound like a whole lot but if global aviation were a country, it would rank as the seventh largest carbon dioxide emitter with U.S. aircraft emissions accounting for 29 percent of all global aircraft emissions.
Last year, Alaska Air made history by becoming the first commercial flight to use renewable fuel made from forest residuals. Now, the airline is among the top 10 greenest airlines in the world. When planning your next trip, keep these green airlines in mind:
|1. Alaska Air
||6. United Airlines
||7. Continental Airlines
|3. American Airlines
||8. Easy Jet
||9. Cathay Pacific
Choose Eco-Friendly Destinations
If you want to be a true eco-warrior, choose travel destinations that are renowned for their pro-environmental qualities. We recommend these three eco-friendly travel destinations or choosing a place from this list of the world’s greenest countries.
Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Once you’ve chosen your airline and destination, think about ways you can reduce your energy consumption once you arrive. For instance, if the city or town you’re visiting is small enough, consider walking or biking to get around instead of renting a car. If you need to get somewhere fast, take buses, trains or other forms of public transportation.
When it comes to your lodging, choose an eco-friendly hotel or Airbnb and make a conscious effort to reduce your energy waste during your stay: turn the lights off when you leave the place, don’t leave the water running, and opt out of daily housekeeping. Treat your lodging like you would if it were your own home.
Bring Your Own Bottles and Bags (B-Y-O-B-B)
Don’t leave your sustainable practices at home. Bring your own reusable water bottles and bags with you. Packing these items will ensure you don’t use plastic ones while abroad.
Do you have any eco-travel tips or advice to share? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.