While there might be a strong pull towards exotic locations and exploring the unknown, travel can take its toll on the environment. Studies show that travel accounts for around 2.5% of the earth’s greenhouse gases, and this figure is on a steady trajectory to reach around 4% to 9% by the year 2035. For hoteliers, resort owners, and responsible travellers, this means serious action is needed in order to still enjoy epic natural marvels such as the Great Barrier Reef and Glacier National Park. Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy eco-Friendly travel with very little impact on the environment.
Be Choosy About Your Accommodation
One of the best ways to encourage the hospitality industry to change its approach to sustainability and incorporate more earth-friendly alternatives is to put your money where your conscience is. Support hoteliers and lodges who make a point of sustainable living, and if they happen to be carbon neutral, even better. This could mean sourcing supplies from local manufacturers, using energy-efficient appliances, making use of solar energy, and providing guests with the option to use their towels for more than one day. All these may seem like small gestures, but if it’s an industry-wide move, it has the potential to change the demand on the environment.
Be A Responsible Consumer
Travelling can be thirsty business and while it’s tempting to pop into convenience stores and airport kiosks for bottled water, plastic water bottles have a dire effect on the environment. Instead, choose a travel thermos or bottle that can accommodate hot and cold liquids to do away with constant purchases of disposables. Not only will this call for less manufacturing of plastic bottles, which means fewer greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, it will also reduce the plastic in our oceans. For conservationists and economies around the globe, the health of the ocean is not just important from a tourist perspective to create scenic diving opportunities, but also for the wellbeing of the planet.
Take The Long And Winding Route
You have the opportunity to see more of the world when the journey becomes part of the trip. For instance, travelling by boat or train is far more sustainable than constantly flying from one location to the next. If air travel is the only means to reach your destination, then look out for air carriers that incorporate sustainable practices in their operations. Carriers such as KLM and Qantas make use of sustainable biofuels which reduces airplane emissions. Other ways to travel sustainably is to look out for trams and trains that are solar-powered or electric, and to hire bicycles instead of hailing the nearest taxi. Car rental agencies have also recently started including electric options to their fleet to decrease their own carbon footprint.
While it may not be possible to avoid every proffered coffee in a disposable cup or refuse bottled water when you’re parched, small changes go a long way to promote sustainable travel. Keep an eye out for destinations that embrace eco-travel to get the best deals without the guilt.