Green travel offers you a million (well, maybe we’re exaggerating a little) ways to have fun while you help the environment, and not all of them include forgoing the pleasures of a first-class vacation with all the perks. All you have to be is more aware and remember that every little step counts—no matter how far you travel.
Book nonstop flights
Did you know a “nonstop” flight isn’t the same as a “direct” flight? A nonstop goes from one airport to another, without stopping. A direct flight has several destinations, whether or not the final one affects all the passengers—meaning it makes stops from the original airport on the way. Why does this matter? Because as much as 50% of carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing… Yikes!
Make a list, choose a light suitcase/bag, pack early, ditch the guidebooks (go digital), use layers… The less you take, the less you have to carry around, but a light bag also means it will take less fuel to get it from point A to point B.
Walk, use public transportation or rent a bike.
Riding on buses and subways generates about half as much carbon dioxide than a private vehicle, and riding a bike generates, well, none at all. And, of course, one of the easiest, most available methods of green travel is walking, which is very sustainable and very good for a person’s health.
If you do need a car, opt for a hybrid.
Of course, some destinations demand motorized transportation, which is when you should think about renting a hybrid vehicle. It’s not such a far-fetched idea: with so much competition in the market, more companies are catering to eco-conscious travelers. Still and all, you might find it easier to rent them in destinations where eco-tourism is more popular—but it’s always worth it to ask!
Whenever possible, buy local goods instead of those flown in or shipped in from elsewhere. Not only will it give you a more immersive experience, but it will also help support the local economy. Of course, make sure you’re not buying souvenirs made from endangered species (not to mention they’ll be taken away at Customs!)
Recycle your trash
Deposit your trash in marked receptacles—even better if your destination does recycling? If you don’t see any, ask. Worse case scenario, you take your trash back with you to the hotel and get rid of it there.