Newbies Guide to Eco-Travel: How to Save the Planet

Travel, we are told, is one of the worst offenders for its contribution to climate change. The simple concept of millions of humans moving around the planet invariably has an impact. But does this mean we have to give up traveling if we want to save the environment? Not necessarily is the short answer; if we devise ways of changing the way we travel is the long answer.

man sitting on gray dock
Photo by S Migaj on Unsplash

Keep it Simple: Don’t Go Too Far.

Travel does not necessarily demand that long distances must be traveled. If we look closer to home, we may discover that there are just as good experiences as if we travel far. If we like culture, there are so many examples of architecture, food, galleries, and museums that offer so much if we look for them. Sometimes we neglect the gems on our own doorstep. Take staying in the USA, there is not a nation on the planet with a more diverse make-up of population, and we can explore all these vibrant communities without ever crossing a border.

Stay Grounded

Avoiding flying wherever possible is one most important things an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint. The use of jet fuel is so intensive that it is estimated that by 2050 it may account for one quarter of all carbon emissions worldwide. If you must insist on flying, then there are some things you may consider to lessen the impact, such as flying economy, choosing airlines that make more commitments, take direct flights, and even fly during the day as condensation trails enhance heat-trapping more at night.

Travel Light

The less luggage you bring, the less weight you carry, and the less fuel is required to propel you. Even in general, having fewer possessions means less manufacturing, so you are leaving less of an impact on the planet via manufacturing.

Don’t Create Waste

When we travel, don’t create waste is the golden rule. It is too easy to use being on the move as an excuse to be wasteful and use disposable items such as cups and plates. We can avoid this and bring our own reusable items such as glass straw.

Stay in Eco-Hotels 

Eco Hotel can mean many different things depending on what the individual establishment decides to provide customers with an environmentally friendly experience. Some will have an excellent structure that allows a low carbon footprint; this can include excellent insulation, use of renewable energy. The Hotel may have a policy of only using locally sourced food items, which may or may not involve a plant-based menu. Other places use ideas such as planting a tree for every customer who passes through their doors. 

Self-Catering

Self-catering is a fantastic way of keeping a low carbon profile when traveling. Restaurants are high-energy producing commercial entities. Think of how much waste is involved in eating out; if we need ketchup, for example, we are given a full dish, use a small spoon, and the rest is thrown away. If we cook for ourselves, we can find amazing locally sourced ingredients and make exactly what we want.