8 Ways to Travel More Sustainably
1. Book a non-stop flight.
When traveling, it is best to book a non-stop flight. This is the most efficient way to use your time while cutting back on carbon emissions.
2. Bring your reusables.
Don’t forget to bring your reusables! Skip the plastic water bottles, bags, utensils, and to-go’s by bringing your own. Bringing your own reusables can help cut back on unnecessary plastic waste during your travels. It is always nice to have a reusable tote bag rolled up in your backpack while traveling. You’ll never know when you’ll need it. Most airports will let you through with an empty water bottle. You’ll be surprised how often you use it, especially when traveling to hot climates.
3. Pack lightly and efficiently.
Don’t overpack. Make a list of all the things you will need before you start packing. Bringing unnecessary items will weigh you down. The more cargo a plane carries, the more fuel it needs, in the end create more emissions.
4. Prep your house.
Make sure you prep your house before you leave. Unplug all outlets. Even when off electronics pull energy from the outlet. Plan to eat all of the food in your fridge before it spoils and goes to waste. Turn down the thermostat, no need to cool or heat a house no one is staying in!
5. Download your e-ticket
Instead of printing your ticket, download it to your phone. Most airlines offer an electronic ticket to use instead of a printed one. This is a small way that you can cut back on your waste.
6. Book with a Green Hotel
Our friends over at Greenglobaltravel.com encourages travelers to check to see if the hotel has LEED Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. When traveling outside of the country, look for seals of approval from other certification programs, like EarthCheck(Australia), Green Globe, Rainforest Alliance (Latin America, Caribbean), and Green Tourism Business Scheme (UK). Before booking a hotel, look into the hotel’s sustainability initiatives, such as solar power, wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow toilets. Don’t be afraid to ask about the hotel has a recycling program. If they don’t have one encourage them to start one.
7. Visit local markets.
Going beyond the tourist driven markets and gift shops. When you are exploring areas off the beaten path you can discover amazing shops and markets. This is a great way to support local artisans. When buying from these artists you are supporting their craft and preserving their culture. Plus, these things are always better than the typical souvenirs found in the airport.
8. Respect the wildlife.
Steer clear of any tours and attractions that include animals, especially endangered ones! Tours that offer riding elephants or walking with tigers usually support the illegal captures and abuse of these animals. Do the research before you go. If you are looking to give back to the native wildlife, there are a lot of great non-profits with that goal in mind.