As summer approaches and we gear up for our holidays it’s worth thinking about the effects that travelling has on the environment. By following these simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the road you can make your trip more sustainable without missing out on exciting experiences.
1. Fly less
Flying seems like the most convenient mode of transport when you travel. But planes produce a huge amount of carbon emissions. So the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to fly less. f you’re going to Europe this summer, consider taking the coach or train instead. Flights may seem less time consuming but once you’ve factored in the journey to the airport, security and baggage check-in you might find trains more relaxing.
2. Fly Economy
Flights are unavoidable when you’re travelling a long distance. So be more carbon efficient by sitting in Economy instead of Business Class. Due to there being more space and bigger baggage allowances in Business Class, more carbon is produced per passenger. Research carried out in 2013 by World Bank estimated that the carbon footprint created by Business Class passengers were three times that of Economy!
3. Pack light
The more weight the aircraft carries, the more fuel is used which increases the carbon footprint. An easy way to be more carbon efficient is to pack light. Challenge yourself to only pack a carry-on for your trip. Not only is it better for the environment but you won’t have any extra check-in fees!
4. Walk or cycle to get around
The greenest way to travel is to walk or cycle. Make sightseeing interesting by joining a walking tour or go for a wander and see where it takes you. Make use of public transport when going further afield as it’s much greener than driving. Using alternative modes of transport will provide you with a more immersive and eco-friendly way to travel.
5. Pack reusable travel sized toiletries
Travel sized toiletries are light, easy and a must for aircraft cabin restrictions but these miniatures are not economical. They’re expensive and single-use only. Buy reusable travel bottles and fill them up with your favourite toiletries instead. It’s a good way to save money and reduce the carbon footprint caused by plastic production.
6. Reduce water waste
When we think of global warming, power plant emissions come to mind, not water. By using less water you reduce your carbon footprint because less needs to be produced, treated and disposed of. So have shorter showers, turn taps off and carry a reusable water bottle to reduce your plastic consumption. Invest in a water purifier bottle if you’re unsure about the drinking water.
Recycling produces less pollution than making products from scratch. Minimise your carbon footprint by adhering to the recycling initiatives in the country you’re visiting. Try to limit the amount of waste you produce by taking a reusable bag shopping and choose products with minimal packaging. While recycling is a step towards being green, reducing waste is more effective.
8. Treat your hotel like a home
Just like you would in your own home, make a habit of turning off the lights and keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature. In hotels, a huge amount of water is spent on laundry. Try minimising your laundry by reusing towels and bedsheets for as long as possible. Ensure that you’re staying in a hotel that cares for the environment and takes measure to decrease its carbon footprint.
9. Be an eco-tourist
Tourism has a carbon footprint of 8% but reducing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. On the contrary, be an eco-tourist. Ecotourism is about responsible travel which informs and benefits the environment and its community. So put your money in tours, experiences and accommodation that strive to keep ecotourism as their founding principle.
10. Offset your emissions
It’s hard not to accumulate a carbon footprint when you’re travelling. One of the easiest ways to reduce it is to offset your emissions. Calculate the carbon footprint of your travels and donate the amount to a charity that combats climate change. Cool Earth, endorsed by Sir David Attenborough, works alongside indigenous communities to protect endangered rainforests against deforestation.