How To Travel Sustainably
Travel is a tradition many Americans take for granted. Travel isn't a required custom, but it is a luxury. It's also a luxury that can cost the environment dearly. When people travel, they can make positive impacts on local economies, but they can also deplete the areas of resources, making a negative impact on the environment. As you plan to travel for your next winter or summer break, consider ways you can travel that are more sustainable to the environment. There are many changes you can make in how you travel to lower your carbon footprint. Here are six to get you started.
1. Support Sustainable Accommodations
There are a variety of ways your accommodations can offer a sustainable stay. Research accommodations prior to booking. Look for accommodations that use sustainable energy, such as a solar panel system. Some places are even built using renewable materials, such as grass and recycled composite. When you support these types of accommodations, you are supporting the growth of a trend that is good for the planet.
2. Lower Your Carbon Footprint
One of the biggest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint when you go on vacation is by traveling close to home. The closer your destination is to your home, the less fuel you'll. utilize in getting there. This can be difficult for someone who has never traveled overseas and wants to see some of the great wonders of the world. You can still reduce your carbon footprint by choosing an eco-friendly airline, which is an airline that uses sustainable aviation biofuel. There are several, including United. Travel by train has fewer carbon emissions than travel by plane. Even if you can't use a train to get to your destination, once you're there you could use a train to visit local attractions. Some famous trains that travel over long distances include the Orient Express and the Eurostar. While the cruise industry is looking at ways to become environmentally-friendly, it is one of the worst ways to spend your vacation, as far as the environment is concerned. If you do decide to book a cruise, look for one that documents how it works to protect the ocean.
3. Choose Destinations That Are Protected
Supporting protected areas provides the ability to maintain the protected status. It deters the government from selling the land to commercial prospects. Before you travel, look for places to stay that offer protection to the local environment. If you're traveling to a cost, look for Marine Protected Areas.
4. Avoid Using Plastic
When you travel, you produce more waste than usual. That's because everything you eat and drink is conveniently disposable. Yet, plastic from water bottles is one of the biggest plastic threats to the environment. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle and refilling it as needed so you don't add another plastic bottle to landfills or even worse, the oceans.
5. Conserve Water
The water you use for your shower has a negative impact on the local ecology. Consider taking quick showers and reusing your towels and bed linens. Look for hotels that document how they are taking action in the area of water conservation. Hotels can be some of the biggest wastes of local resources.
6. Pack Light
The less you pack, the less weight you produce. The lighter you and your belongings are during travel, the easier you will be to transport, requiring less energy to move you. While this may seem like a rather small way to make an impact, consider if everyone packed the same way. The impact would be substantial. Unfortunately, not everyone will pack the same, but if nobody starts, then nobody ever will. The ability for more sustainable travel is possible; however, it takes careful planning and consideration. It may currently be impossible to completely negate the impact your travel has on the environment, but by caring and supporting sustainable options, you are supporting a growing trend and way of life more people have yet to buy into. When it comes to living greener, it's an effort well worth the time.
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