You love to travel. You find exploring different cultures, enjoying nature’s beauty, and enhancing your awareness of history an incredibly positive experience. But travel has an undeniably negative effect on the planet. Vast energy consumption, significant carbon emissions, and excessive water usage, to name a few, are unfortunate side effects of travel.
Because of the growing concern about the ravages of climate change, many travelers are seeking ways to travel that will reduce their carbon footprint and have less impact on the environment. Even better, many of these green-travel strategies can also help you save some green while you’re indulging your worldwide wanderlust.
1. Take A Reusable Water Bottle
The numbers are hard to swallow: A million plastic bottles are purchased every minute. Ninety-one percent of plastic produced isn’t recycled. A 2015 study found that by the middle of this century we’ll have more plastic in our oceans than fish. Packing a reusable water bottle means you can avoid buying bottled water wherever you travel. If you’re concerned about water quality, consider buying a filtered water bottle, which makes it easy to drink water from virtually any source by filtering out up to 99.9 percent of contaminants.
2. Go Easy On The Packing
Pack light and you’ll be carrying less weight. How does that help the planet? If you’re traveling in a vehicle, you’ll use less fuel and release fewer emissions. If you’re traveling by car, you’ll need to buy less gas and save money on fill-ups. If you’re traveling by plane with carry-on items only, you’ll lighten the load that the plane has to carry and, as a result, reduce the plane’s fuel consumption. Another plus: You’ll also most likely save the cost of checking bags at the airport.
3. Carry A Tote Bag
A tote bag can hold a lot when you’re traveling — and put a hold on your guilt when it comes to plastic consumption. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or collecting souvenirs, you’ll find a tote bag means you can say “no” to plastic bags in stores, which can lead to carbon savings and less pollution.
4. Tap Into The Sun And Plug In Less
You’ll most likely bring along your phone or tablet or e-reader on your trip, but you don’t necessarily have to plug them in each night for recharging. Consider a solar power bank that works by converting sunlight into usable power and storing it until needed; as a result, you can keep your battery full without relying on electricity. On average, solar banks cost around $30.
5. Make Your Flight Greener
If you’re looking to make your air travel less detrimental to the environment, choose the shortest route with the fewest connections, which will cut down on your time in the air and lessen airplane fuel consumption. Decrease paper waste by opting for a digital boarding pass instead of printing your pass at home. And check into the carbon offset programs offered by some airlines; they allow you to offset your carbon footprint by donating to carbon reduction projects. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.