Hello friends! I’ve recently written about travel environmental matters. In this blog I’ll give you some simple tips that can be easily implemented to lessen the impact of your travel.
International travel is a force for good in this world. Not only does it stimulate trade and the distribution of wealth, it also ensures that different cultures are in frequent contact. This international contact breaks down barriers to communication between peoples. Quite simply, it is difficult to dislike someone that you have met! So, I fully encourage travel but I recommend a few simple ideas to improve the greenness of your next trip.
Here are some simple things that you can do to lessen the environmental impact of your travel:
- I wrote recently about Carbon Offset programmes (https://www.journeyhero.net/what-is-carbon-offset-and-should-you-do-it/). These are an easy and quick way to lessen the environmental impact of your travel.
- Study the airline schedules and use the newest and most fuel efficient aircraft whenever possible. New aircraft are more comfortable and are much more environmentally friendly than older models.
- Pack light. The less weight you carry the greener your travel will be. You won’t use all of those shoes anyway!
- Don’t consume single use plastics on the aircraft. Take your own multiuse water bottle onboard and fill it after security in the airport (just ensure that it is empty when you go through security at the airport). Your flight attendant will be happy to refill your container when you ask.
- Sorry guys, but Economy seats are environmentally friendlier than Business Class or First Class because they take up less space. The airlines have done a great job making the new generation economy seats comfortable. Give them a try!
In the Hotel:
- Don’t change your towels or sheets every day. You don’t change them every day at home, so give the earth a break and don’t change them often when away.
- Don’t use single use plastic cups, bottles or even bathroom amenities. These are convenient but not very environmentally friendly.
- Wherever possible, eat in restaurants that source their menus locally. You’ll taste some new and interesting flavours, you’ll be supporting the local economy and you’ll be gentler on the environment.
- Consider the environmental credentials of the hotels where you stay. Do they participate in green-hotel programmes? Do they cut down on the use of detergents? Do they have energy and water saving technologies on their property? Make an informed choice with the environment in mind.
- Turn off lights, the air-conditioning and unplug chargers when you don’t need them in the room. Be comfortable, but also be mindful of your environmental impact.
- Open the curtains, windows and balcony doors. Why not let the breeze cool you instead of an air-conditioner? It’s healthier and more environmentally friendly.
- Use public transport whenever possible preferring electric trains, trams and buses wherever possible.
- If you’ll be using a car, please use car-sharing services with proper green credentials including hybrid or electric options.
- Walk whenever you can. It’s inexpensive and good for you!
- If you are renting a car, please rent an electric, hybrid, or green fuelled vehicle. The car companies have many options now available.
- Smaller cars are normally more fuel efficient and thus pollute less. So, skip that SUV in favour of a small economy car.
- Do you really need to use the car’s air-conditioner? Why not remember the joys of a ‘4-70’ air-conditioner: “Four windows down at 70 miles per hour!”
Consider Intermodal Travel:
- Why take a flight when you can take a train to the same destination? Trains can be much faster to your ultimate designation and they provide beautiful scenery along the way – and WiFi that is free of charge.
- Have you considered a bus as an option instead of a short-haul flight? Buses are comfortable, provide connectivity and are much more environmentally friendly than a short flight.
- Ships are actually the lowest carbon producing way to travel. They take longer but they are fun and relaxing!
- Sometimes, a meeting can be handled just as well with a video-conference instead of a trip. I know this is not always the case, but look for opportunities to cut down on business travel – leisure travel is more fun!
- When you travel on leisure, think about the environmental impact of your travel and consider ecologically-friendly options.
- Whenever possible, support local businesses when you travel abroad. Staying in a local hotel, eating at local restaurants and using other local services ensure that the indigenous economy is stimulated by your visit.
- Study up on local customs and culture before your visit so that you are respectful of the culture you are visiting.
- Try to leave the place you visit as clean as when you arrived. Better yet, leave it cleaner, if you can!
There are many more small actions that you can take to leave the earth a little better when you travel. Maybe you cannot implement all of these at once but doing any of these is helpful. Mindful travel with a few environmental considerations is easy to implement!
Let’s all leave the earth a little better when we travel.