Shocking statistics about the current state of our planet force us to take a closer look at our actions that impact the environment while traveling. The good news: if each of us makes an effort in eco-friendly travel, that can have huge benefits for healing the planet. To do your part, follow a few of these green practices for sustainable travel.
Choose Eco-friendly cities
Some cities do a better job than others when it comes to sustainability. Look for places like Budapest, Hungary, which hosts eco-friendly events throughout the year. A good example is Copenhagen, which set a green goal to become carbon neutral by 2025. Supporting tourism to these eco-friendly cities encourages other places to follow suit and pass more green policies.
Explore by bike
Renting a bike for a day offers a great way to explore a city at your own pace while also cutting back on air pollution. Best of all, many cities around the world have convenient daily bike rentals and safe paths around town. Portland, Oregon, for example, has city-wide bike pathways where you can stop at your leisure to explore.
Bring Your Own (Water) Bottle
Annual consumption of plastic water bottles will exceed half a trillion by 2021, with 80 percent of those bottles likely to end up in landfills. By bringing a reusable water bottle, you can do your part to reduce the usage of plastic water bottles. Make sure to empty it before you go through security checks. Many airports allow you to fill your bottle once you reach your gate. Then you’ll have an eco-friendly water source while exploring the sites at your travel destination.
Avoid plastic bags
Just as with plastic bottles, single-use plastic bags are destroying our planet, particularly when it comes to marine life. When you travel, bring along a reusable tote. That way, if you go shopping, whether for food, clothing, or souvenirs, you avoid creating more plastic waste…and save those adorable sea turtles in the process!
Screen for eco-friendly activities
While it might seem cute to hold a baby tiger or ride on an elephant’s back, many of these practices involve shocking animal abuses. Make sure to screen any activities such as these. Better yet, look for nature reserves or animal refuges so you can support the protection of our endangered species while on vacation.
Sure, you might want your best outfit for every day during your trip. But each pound counts when it comes to air travel. The more the plane weighs, the more carbon emissions. So, make it a habit to pack light and bring only what you need.
In a global economy, we take it for granted when international brands from home show up anywhere we go. But this requires shipping products across the world, which also produces carbon emissions and negatively impacts the planet. Instead, look for locally sourced businesses like breweries or restaurants. You not only support small businesses and their communities, but you also put your money toward sustainable trade.