Many people want to contribute. They recycle and turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth. However, the act of traveling could make the Earth dirtier. If we love to travel, there’s still hope. Here ways to become a more responsible traveler:
1. Offset our flights: Flying is one of the dirtiest methods to travel, but we could still compensate for some of the carbon footprint. Some airlines, like United Airlines and Delta have carbon footprint calculator on their websites. The carbon footprint of our trip could be equated with a dollar figure. We may donate some amount of money to carbon reduction projects, such as renewable energy and forest replanting. Contributing to this kind of program should be better than doing completely nothing. It is also important to choose economy-only flights, because business and first classes take up more space that might otherwise be used for transporting more people.
2. Tour the destination on foot: If we can’t walk, we can bike. If we can’t bike, we may take public transportation. We may also offer other like-minded travelers to car pool. Uber and Lyft offer car-pooling; so we should be able to reduce the overall carbon footprint.
3. Choose a green hotel: It is often argued that a greener option than staying in a hotel is by sharing a house. This will result in higher reduction in water and energy use. But, if we don’t want to share home, we may choose a green hotel. It means that the hotel may use green methods, such as not using air conditioner, giving us limited quantity of water for showering and using less electrical appliances. The hotel may also use other sustainable practices, such as harvesting rainwater.
4. Take reusable water bottles: Worldwide production of plastic water bottle require millions of barrels of crude oil. During a trip, we should consider using reusable water container. We are able to curb emission and pollution by carrying reusable bottles.
5. Pack lighter: More fuel is needed if we carry heavier luggage. If all passengers bring an extra tablet, their combined weight in a big airplane can be quite significant. Our trip will be much more enjoyable if we are not loaded down with so much stuff.
6. Use e-tickets: In many cases, it’s no longer necessary to print documents. Tree harvesting and pulp processing contribute to climate change. Worldwide paper production threatens some of the last few natural forests. Choose airlines and transportation services that allow us to use only e-tickets.
7. Do things locally: It should be much cleaner to do things locally. We could purchase and eat locally-sourced food. We may bring a reusable bag to carry the food back to our hotel. Other than supporting the local economy, we may deal with less packaging by shopping locally. Another item we buy locally means one less item we need ship or fly in. We should also be able to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Production of red-meat is also carbon-intensive; so we should reduce its consumption.
8. Put our devices to sleep: When we are not using them, we may allow our laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices to sleep. This allows us to save energy. It’s good for battery life and Mother Earth too.
9. Choose environmentally-friendly tours: To reduce our carbon footprint, we should choose outings and eco-trips that don’t harm the environment. Our trips should have minimal negative impacts to the nature. We should also pass our new green travel habits on to other travelers. This will allow us to multiply the overall impact of traveling.