A guide to sustainable travel

By Stef Zisovska
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A guide to sustainable travel

Stef Zisovska
 
Clean after yourself
Clean after yourself
 
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Sustainable or green travel is something that more and more people choose to do every year. Being a green traveler doesn’t necessarily means that you need to sleep in a tent and cook your food with a solar-powered camp stove.

Eco-friendly traveling is a way of visiting different places without causing a major negative impact. Each environmentally-conscious choice you make while traveling will is making a small difference, but the thing is that if we act as collective and raise the awareness, the damage will be lesser.

Being eco-friendly is not a nuclear physic or whatever thing that’s hard to understand. Here’s a list of useful tips that will make you a green and eco-friendly traveler.

Book non-stop flights

Cheap flights have changed the way we travel 
Cheap flights have changed the way we travel 

Every time it’s possible, book a non-stop flight to avoid extra carbon emissions produced mostly on landings and takeoffs. It’s hard to travel only with direct flights, but when possible, do it.

Share a ride

Sharing a ride
Sharing a ride

Always look for people that go to the same destination as you and share a ride with them. Imagine five friends driving five different vehicles, heading to the same place? It’s five times more expensive, and it pollutes the environment five times more.

If you fly, choose IATA flights

IATA ( International Air Transport Association ) is a group of airlines who invest in carbon reduction projects. There are 275 member airlines in IATA from all over the world, including American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Federal Express.

Rent a hybrid car

If you have an old car that produces a lot of carbon emissions, then rent a hybrid or electric car that uses less fuel.

Bus, train or ship

Choose a train – a brilliant way to see the country
Choose a train – a brilliant way to see the country

For the ones who don’t have time limitations traveling by bus, train or even a ship is highly recommendable, because it has less environmental impact.

Look for certification when choosing a hotel

When traveling in the US look for the LEED certification, EarthCheck for Australia, Green Globe and Rainforest Alliance in Latin America, and Green Tourism Business Scheme in the UK. These programs check water savings, energy efficiency, material selection, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. Ask if the hotel is recycling.

Water saving tips

One water bottle

Always bring you BPA-free water bottle that you can refill, so you don’t need to buy more plastic bottles and throw them away.

Take showers instead of baths

The difference between a shower and a bath is around 50 gallons of water. You decide which one is better for the planet. If you want to save even more water, then shower with a friend.

Save water while brushing your teeth

Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shampooing your hair or shaving.

Energy saving tips

 

  • Turn off the light and the A/C on your way out.
  • Leave DO NOT DISTURB sign to avoid chemical cleaning agents, electricity used in vacuuming, and the washing of bed linens.
  • Cut the down the usage of gas when you go out by choosing a bike or walk.
  • Return maps and brochures once you don’t need them.
  • Carry all the leftover soaps and shampoos because they will end up in the garbage, and you can reuse the plastic bottles.

Green hiking tips

Stick to the trail
Stick to the trail
  • Stick to the marked trails and avoid harming plants.
  • If you spot any trash on the way, pick it up and bring with you.
  • Never feed wildlife. It can harm the animal and you.
  • Be a conscious hiker and research the weather and the terrain. Getting lost requires a ranger rescue, which drains resources.

Green shopping tips

Buy local products
Buy local products
  • By only local products.
  • Don’t buy anything made from endangered animal or plant species.
  • Take a reusable bag. Refuse the plastic bags offered.
  • Look for indigenous artisans.
  • Don’t pay a dime for animal-abuse shows, photos or souvenirs.
Travel green
Travel green

The world would be a better place for us, the wildlife, the plants, and the generations to come if we can follow at least half of these tips every time we travel

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