The travel industry is one of the biggest contributors to our planet's climate crisis at the moment and with more and more people traveling permanently, this is only going to get worse in the coming years. Because of this, it's imperative for each of us to ensure that we do everything possible to travel responsibly and sustainably.
But how we do travel in a more sustainable manner? Consider a few of these tips when planning your next trip, and maybe you'll be one step closer.
Don't fly if you don't have to
There are many modes of transport available all over the World. Some may be slower than flying, some may be less reliable, some might even be more expensive. But consider this: Air travel is the largest Carbon emitter in the tourism industry, by far. And I believe the convenience shouldn't justify the means.
So instead of booking your next flight, look for alternatives. Maybe you can take a road trip, or a cruise on a ship, or even an overnight train trip. There are so many options if you just look.
If you must fly..
When traveling overseas, sometimes flying might be the only viable option. In which case, there are still ways to travel responsibly;
Many airlines have made an effort to boost fuel efficiency and lower their CO2 emissions. Companies such as Delta Airlines and Qatar Airways are at the forefront of tackling climate change issues and are a much better option when deciding which airline to support.
Choosing non-stop flights as well as choosing economy over first class can also help you on your quest. Non-stop flights are more efficient as fuel is burnt more rapidly during take off and landing while first class seats take up more space on the plane, that could be used for another passenger.
Choose eco-friendly accommodation
These days, many hotels and accommodation establishments have made the conscious effort to Go Green by adding environmentally friendly aspects to their properties. Such as solar power, recycled furnishings, water conservation methods, etc. Most of these places advertise their green accomplishments so finding a great, eco-friendly place to stay should be pretty easy.
Do you wash your sheets and towels everyday at home? No? Then why let hotels do it? Let your hotel's house-keeping know that they don't have to change your linens everyday.
If you are going somewhere to visit friends or family, consider staying with your friends instead of at a hotel. This will also save you loads of money.
Be water and energy wise
No matter where you choose to stay, we should all be making a conscious effort to lower our personal water and energy usage. Switch lights off when leaving a room and don't leave them on during the day, shortening your shower time by just three minutes off an eight minute shower can save about 7.5 gallons of water and will also help to reduce energy costs.
These may seem like small changes that can't possibly make a difference. But think about it this way; In 2021, there were 1.4 Billion international travelers throughout the world. Just imagine the difference we could make if every single one of those travelers implemented just one or two small changes...