Being kind to the Earth doesn't stop at home. Travel eco-friendly, and make the world a better place by bringing your "green" goodness wherever you go. Here are five ways to travel more sustainably, protecting the planet from point A to point B and everywhere in-between.
Fly the friendly skies in the most friendly way you can Unsplash
If your trip requires a plane ride, do all you can to book a non-stop flight whenever possible. AsGreen Global Travelexplains, "It's the takeoffs and landings that create most of an airplane's carbon emissions." An extra flight fights your goals to go green, so take the time to plan ahead and clear the air, so to speak. Not to mention, you'll likely get where you're going faster.
Drive an Electric or Hybrid Vehicle
No gas, no problemUnsplash
Road trip! But make the drive as delicate as you can by giving up on gas and driving an electric…or at least a hybrid automobile. Fewer trips to the fuel tank will emit less carbon into the air, creating a more sustainable means of putting the pedal to the medal. Go the extra mile with advice from Ergon – "If you use renewable energy to recharge, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions even further. You could recharge from your solar system during the day instead of from the grid." Greatistadds, "Choose the smallest vehicle possible" to take an additional smart step towards sustainability.
Reuse Your Hotel Towels
Dry off and do it againUnsplash
Staying at a hotel allots you a chore-free chunk of time, but don't get greedy when it comes to what's good for the environment. Wasteful washing of towels that are totally fine for another go-round expends energy. As Jubel notes, "Most hotels nowadays know that if you hang up your towel you want to reuse it." Speaking of towels, make your need for them super-sustainable too. Green Global Travel suggests, "Take showers, not baths. Showers use just 10-25 gallons of water, while baths use up to 70 gallons." Rinse rapidly and get back to sightseeing!
Lighten Your Load
A little goes a long wayUnsplash
Unless you are packing for a months-long adventure or a party of plenty, lighten up your luggage to travel mindfully. As Jubel explains, "The extra weight in the cargo-hold of airplanes dramatically increases fuel consumption," if you are traveling by air. Same goes for cars, busses, and trains. The greater the weight being transported, the more fuel needed, and the steps towards sustainability go out the window.
Embark on "Ecotourism"
Travel to unexpected places Unsplash
According to Travel Channel, "Ecotourism is defined as tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife." As The International Ecotourism Society describes, "When executed with the minimum impact, travel can inspire cultural awareness, tolerance, and commitment to environmental responsibility. You can have a unique trip and avoid leaving negative marks on cultures, economies, and the environment." Such trips usually mean lots of walking rather than firing off fuel emissions into the atmosphere. But this won't just save you money–you'll be able to support sustainability efforts from many angles, all while taking a thought-provoking trip you won't soon forget.
Did you know, "The U.S. transportation sector is responsible for about 40 percent of the nation's fossil-fuel related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions — one of the main gases responsible for climate change?"