Travelling abroad? Ways to improve your carbon footprint
This is a collaborative post
It is a known fact that when we go travelling, we create more of a carbon footprint than we would have done had we stayed at home. Quite often this is because when we are on holiday, we tend to be more relaxed and perhaps not quite as careful with regard to issues that contribute to climate change. Naturally, this affects the world around us because everywhere from those snowy white ski slopes to the wonderful sunny beaches begin to suffer.
Tourism contributes to 5% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions according to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization. That’s no surprise when you consider that between January and April this year alone, some 348 million of us went on an international trip which is more than 5% of the number making similar journeys the year before.
As the world opens up, there is no doubt many more people will begin to travel around the globe again but how can we make that travel more sustainable? Let’s have a look at a few ways to achieve this.
Always choose green
The green option does not mean staying in an eco-cabin – the other option would be a sustainable hotel but do make sure they have Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification (LEED). This means that they have built sustainability into every aspect of their operations from using renewable energy to minimising water usage and if they are really serious about the planet, they might also try to always use local produce, source green products and have great recycling practices in place.
Staying green getting about
Needless to say, travel contributes greatly to the carbon footprint of tourists with obviously the biggest culprit being flights to other countries. So maybe it’s time to consider other modes of transport especially for European destinations which are often reachable by train or bus or a combination of both. And what about sailing to your destination? Is that an option? If we all avoid taking flights wherever possible, that would make a massive difference to the carbon footprint of tourists.
So, once you’ve arrived, still think green. If you want to hire a car, make sure you opt for an electric one. Or, better still, use public transport to get to your destination from the airport and then during your holiday, take a local bus instead of a taxi. These are all ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Bring your own bottle
If you use a refillable water bottle, this will have an incredibly positive impact on your carbon footprint as a tourist. Plastic bottles may well be recyclable but a lot of fossil fuels were used in their production and then sadly only one out of every six ever makes it to a recycling facility. In many holiday destinations, they can instead be found left on the beach or at the side of hiking, cycling or walking trails where there isn’t the opportunity to recycle. Worse still, many plastic bottles end up in the sea where, even after 450 years, they will still not have decomposed but instead will have entered the aquatic food chain.
If the water supply in your chosen destination is not safe to drink, simply use your refillable bottle with a purification tablet to make sure you refill in the most sustainable way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Keep your behaviour green
Even when you’re on holiday, nicely relaxed with not a care in the world, do remember to act responsibly so that you contribute to the zero-waste economy and reduce your carbon footprint. While this doesn’t mean you have to hold back on the cocktails and beer, there are some things you should consider:
When you leave your hotel room, make sure you turn off all the lights, air conditioning and TV
If there isn’t already one in the room, ask at Reception if a recycling bin can be put in your room
If your room doesn’t need cleaning or hoovering, simply hang the ‘do not disturb sign on the door
Try to avoid long showers, take shorter ones instead and use eco-friendly toiletries if they are supplied
At the end of the day, with a little planning, it is possible to adopt a sustainable approach to travel to ensure your carbon footprint is minimised.
Post By Svetlana Lungu Why Matters Shopify Agency