Travel is one of the areas of modern life that can be a significant contributor to climate change. It is often unessential and involves tourists losing their inhibitions and taking actions they would not normally take. They often ignore any previous attachment to reducing carbon usage that may have governed their more sustainable lives at home. Travelers can still reduce their carbon usage while on vacation by becoming a sustainable traveler. Sustainable travelers often have trips that are as enjoyable as those of other visitors while also doing their part to save the planet.
Research and Choose the Right Destinations
Some destinations are much friendlier for sustainable traveling than others, and the the idea of sustainability itself should be a consideration to take in mind. Picking a vacation destination that is on a mass transit line or that a person could drive to relatively quickly would be ideal. In cases where someone wants to travel further, the next step would be to pick an area where they could simply walk to all of the destinations they want to visit. Walking greatly decreases the traveler’s carbon footprint. In many instances, the most exciting cities and areas they may visit are completely accessible on foot.
Use Direct Flights Whenever Possible
Direct flights are a helpful way to reduce inadvertent carbon usage. A single plane flight uses a considerable amount of fuel. But it is the only way that most people can reach the vast majority of the world’s travel destinations in a reasonable period of time. Many travelers only have a weekend or a few days to go on a vacation. They need to take a plane if they hope to fulfill their travel dreams. In that case, a key step that travelers can take is to make sure that they take a direct flight. Direct flights ensure that a traveler will use the least fuel possible on their plane trip. Connecting flights expend more fuel landing and taking off than a single direct flight would. They also involve a plane briefly traveling off of the most direct route between two points.
Practice The “Slow Travel”
“Slow travel” is essential for reducing a person’s carbon footprint when they are abroad or in a new town. This approach centers on using alternatives to carbon-intensive travel when a person is moving around. Travelers can use “slow travel” in a number of different ways. The most common is to simply walk as far and as much as possible. Tourists could make sure to utilize public transportation and other forms of transportation that do not release carbon. These forms of transportation would allow a person to take more time to enjoy their sites and soak in local character.
Use Sustainable Transport at Your Destination
Planning the initial trip is an essential part of sustainable traveling. But visitors can also be sustainable once they arrive! They can use the most environmentally friendly transportation they have available to them. A wide variety of cities have rickshaws, bicycles, and other forms of transportation that do not release carbon. There are also sustainable metros and buses that are electric. In some instances, a traveler who absolutely has to rent a car can rent an electric car or a hybrid.
You may also like: Understanding Sustainable Tourism & How to Travel Green!
Eat and Shop Local on your Trip
Eating local is often preferable to eating at large chain restaurants or grocery stores. But it also reduces the number of products that have to be shipped in from far away. Less shipping of products means less carbon that goes into each purchase a traveler makes. In addition, a traveler who is eating local is supporting a particular community. This community will then have more money to ensure that there is no dumping in their local area or that they can reduce smog from cars by using public transportation.
Use Carbon Offsets
A carbon offset may be helpful for the particularly concerned traveler. There are websites out there that will easily calculate the amount of carbon that you will waste while using those cheap flights in August you scored for your vacation. Then, you can see how much money you will have to spend on a carbon capture project in order to cancel out their carbon used on the trip. Carbon offsets are a sensible, practical way to ensure that a traveler is being as sustainable as possible on their trip!
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