One of the greatest advantages of travel is that it takes you on a journey into new worlds that you would have never been exposed to. Travelling allows you to meet people of different cultures, with diverse traditions and distinctive lifestyles. As you travel and discover these newly found worlds, take a moment to reflect not only on the differences that you observe in their lifestyle and behaviour but on the things that unite us. However, as we learn more about these disparate cultures and lifestyles, it is also our responsibility to do our best to cause no harm to the places we travel to. Travelling sustainably is not difficult, it just requires you to do your due diligence before you start.
For starters, choose the most sustainable mode of transportation you possibly can. A lot has been written about the environmental impact of airplanes. And while flying may not be completely avoidable, there are ways to make the process more sustainable. If you are flying, try to book a direct flight, as the maximum fuel consumption & emissions related to air travel stem from the takeoff and landing. You can also opt for cycles and walking when travelling for short distances within the city you are in.
Before you book your hotel, do a quick check if they are sustainable. Generally, there are certifying bodies that will deem a hotel to be sustainable. Do your research and pick a hotel that places sustainability above all else. If possible, stay with a friend, or book an AirBnB or community hostel.
Always pack light ( & right) gear. If you are a frequent traveller, investing in sustainable travel gear is a good option for you. Do not carry too much baggage with you, travelling light is great for you and the planet.
Part of being a green traveller is making sure that you conserve resources at home while you are away. Before you leave, be sure to unplug unnecessary appliances like your TV, desktop computer, microwave, kitchen appliances, and other electronics. These can still draw energy while plugged in, even if they’re turned off.
When you’re travelling, make sure you contribute to the local economy. One great option is purchasing in-season foods and locally made souvenirs, they will boost the local economy and since they are not mass-produced and exported from other countries, their transport-related emissions are eliminated.
No matter what your destination, always be on the lookout for things you can do—large or small—to help reduce your footprint and increase sustainability. What will you do to become a more sustainable traveller?