It doesn’t seem so on the surface, but as per facts, the travel industry is responsible for 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions and contributes to 4.6% of global warming. That certainly does not mean that we stop exploring, vacationing and kill the traveller inside us. However, the statistics mentioned above are startling and clearly points to the fact that we need to consciously make an effort to preserve our planet’s precious resources.
There are many ways in which you can minimize your carbon footprint while traveling. Some of them are listed below:
• Pack smart. Ensure that you’re carrying your toiletries so that you don’t have to buy wasteful items like travel-size toiletries, which are mostly single-use. They add to your carbon print and are made of plastic, which is non biodegradable.
• Whenever you’re travelling, eat, drink and buy locally. Everytime you consume something, which has been exported, significant emissions are saved. Locally-sourced ingredients, which haven’t been flown or trucked in, reduce the carbon print. It also supports local businesses and helps them grow.
• Try and opt for eco-friendly accommodation options. Look for hotels that are either Green Seal or LEED certified. Such hotels are equipped with low flow toilets, energy efficient lighting and low-restrictive shower heads that reduce waste. There are other perks like organic bath products, free hybrid parking and bicycle rentals in such places.
• Travelling is usually associated with luxury. The luxury to indulge, splurge. However, one can enjoy a luxurious vacation without forgetting about green living practices. It is not always possible to opt for eco-friendly accommodations. However, there are other simple steps which you can keep in mind. For instance, unplug unnecessary appliances as they drain energy even when they’re not on. The idea is to treat your hotel room like home.
• Air travel is responsible for 40% of the total carbon dioxide emissions and is considered the main tourism contributor to global warming. To do your bit, firstly, pack light. Lesser the weight the plane carries, it would require less fuel.
• Take a reusable bag with you to avoid using a plastic bag while shopping for groceries or souvenirs.
• Bring a reusable food container to store your leftovers while you’re on the road. Similarly, bring along a reusable water bottle and a purifier. This is because there are only a few countries in the world which are capable of recycling plastic bottles. This will also ensure safety from water-bourne illnesses.
• Give your hotel feedback. Express appreciation for any eco-friendly programs and if there are no such offers, encourage the management to go green in the future.
• Instead of renting a car, opt for one among the numerous public transit options available such as trains, buses, and subways.
The next time you go vacationing, do keep the above mentioned guidelines in mind for earth friendly travel.