The travel industry is the fastest growing in the world – that’s right, the world. With this in mind, it is becoming more and more apparent that we need to make adjustments as we travel in order to reduce our carbon footprint and preserve the environment, no matter where we are on this wonderful planet. According to the World Tourism Organization, there were more than 715 million international arrivals worldwide in 2014 alone. This is a staggering number and just reiterates the need for us as a global community to minimize the impact we have on the environment.
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure this summer, we encourage you to take the below tips into consideration. In doing so, you will be working towards becoming a more eco-conscious traveler and person in general. Saving resources and adopting greener practices both at home and abroad can actually be a very rewarding lifestyle, if done correctly.
That being said, let’s look at a few ways you can reduce your footprint and become a more eco-friendly traveler. Here are six eco-friendly summer travel tips.
- Bring your own water bottle. Plastic bottles are one of the largest pollution problems in many parts of the world. Not only are they wasteful in general, but they require a lot of resources to make and are difficult to recycle. This is why it is important that you bring your own reusable water bottle when you travel. There are tons of environmentally friendly companies out there today that make great products that you can feel good about and get a lot of use out of.
- Consider your aircraft. If possible, choose a fuel-efficient aircraft to get you to your destination, such as the Boeing 777 or Airbus 345. By being conscious about your mode of transportation, you will be reducing your footprint. Keep an eye for the Boeing 787, which will soon be the best option as its fuel consumption will be 27 percent less than other similarly sized aircraft.
- Use reef-friendly sunscreen. The number of sunscreens available for purchase is overwhelming to say the least, but the majority of these contain chemicals that can damage coral reefs and other natural habitats. Because of this, opt for a reef-friendly sunscreen when traveling to sunny spots.
- Eat local. For many travelers, this is the only way to do things. Look for local farmers’ markets, street stands, or ask locals what and where they like to eat. By getting to know the culture and making a conscious effort to eat items that are local to that area, you will be supporting local communities while also gaining insight.
- Don’t use the hotel trash can. Most hotel trash cans are lined with a plastic bag which housekeeping changes out each time they clean your room. This is extremely wasteful and hard on the environment. If possible, stay away from throwing things out in this trash can, instead take your trash to public receptacles.
- Turn off lights and air conditioner/heater when not in use. If you are traveling somewhere hot, it can be tempting to leave the air conditioner running so that when you come back from a day of exploring, your room is nice and cool. Unfortunately, this is extremely wasteful and expensive. It will cost the hotel more money and also leads to more burning of coal and other fossil fuels, which contribute to global climate change.
We hope these tips will give you a good place to start when traveling this summer! By making a few small changes to the way in which you approach vacation, you will be making a difference in the longevity and health of our planet.
Feature image courtesy of Mario Mancuso