Travel connects you closer to nature.
On the other side of the coin, tourism is a source of global greenhouse gas emissions that pressure our natural resources and environment.
Tourism is responsible for around 8% of the world's carbon emissions. Now that countries open borders to tourists again, it’s time we do our part to explore mindfully.
Aim to fly only when the trip is long.
Did you know that flying economy saves four times the emissions compared to flying first class? In addition, direct flights use emits significantly less than connecting flights. You may consider purchasing carbon offsets for your air travel.
If you’re arriving at an airport, explore the option of booking an airport shuttle instead of defaulting to a taxi.
Walk, bike, and use public transport at your destination. You’ll also see much more of your surroundings, have more encounters with locals, and find hidden gems.
Stay in a green hotel.
According to the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the industry standard for hotel emissions is 68.6 lbs of carbon per room per night. Green hotels average just 13 lbs of carbon per room per night.
When booking, look for hotels that:
- Use renewable energy
- Have LEED certification (globally recognized standard for green design, construction, and operation)
- Use non-polluting cleaning products
- Practice comprehensive recycling and composting programs
Top tips: Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door to minimize resources used to clean your room. Use the lights, heating, and A/C as if you were paying the electric bill yourself!
Pack light, reusable, and multifunctional.
Heavy luggage requires more fuel during transport! Instead of relying on single-use items during your stay, plan smart by bringing things that will help you eliminate disposables across your activities.
Bring waterless personal care essentials to reduce unnecessary waste on your trip.
Bring reusable containers with you! A reusable water bottle, silicone sealers, and durable grocery bags can come in handy for keeping leftovers and cutting down on plastic bags.
Plan for laundry day. Hotel laundry services are expensive and generally use a lot of water. Packing clothes that don’t need to be laundered often is a good place to start. Wash your clothes in the sink with Net Zero Strips and hang them to dry overnight.
Think: multi-purpose. The right pair of comfortable sneakers are great for the airport, hiking, and exploring.
Enjoy the local cuisine.
Take advantage of the opportunity to try all of the local dishes that you can’t get at home!
- Learn about the traditional cuisine
- Shop at local food markets
- Dine at restaurants that source their ingredients from local farmers
Avoid imported foods which must be transported from far away and require more packaging and refrigeration to preserve them along the way.
Be mindful of food waste.
It’s hard not to overindulge while on vacation. Did you know that food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions?
Food is processed, packaged, transported, and refrigerated–and when we throw away our leftovers, it creates methane in an oxygen-starved landfill.
Try to make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach when sampling cuisines. Don’t hesitate to ask for smaller portions or share with a friend!
Travel is a gift that connects us to our beautiful home.
It’s in all of our best interests to make sure that destinations remain unharmed and travel remains a possibility for future generations. Conscientiousness in small aspects of how you travel all add up to big and positive changes.