Traveling is a wonderful experience that enriches your life in many different ways. For example, traveling can open your eyes to alternative ways of living, help you make meaningful connections with others and create beautiful memories that will stay with you forever. Also, don’t forget that going on a trip is an efficient remedy against stress. However, those who favor a green lifestyle are worried about the negative side of traveling, since many kinds of transportation and other facets of travel can have a negative impact on the environment. But we say you can travel and live an eco-friendly lifestyle. So, let’s look at the following green travel tips to discover the world without damaging the environment.
Just because you won’t be footing the electricity bill at your hotel or B&B, it doesn’t mean that you should be careless with the way you use energy-consuming appliances. Cheap electricity is something of a luxury nowadays, so make sure that you turn off air-con or heating units when you are not in the room. The same applies to TVs, lights, and other electric appliances.
Paper waste is one of the most pressing environmental concerns because it is directly linked to deforestation, which in turn impacts climate change. The next time you book a plane, bus or train ticket, make sure you use the electronic ticket option. Remember that in many cases, you don’t even need to print the ticket confirmation, since all your details are saved in a computerized system.
You can also take advantage of mobile boarding passes, which are now available from several airlines, including low-cost carriers. Next time you travel, enquire about mobile check-in and about electronic boarding passes.
Depending on your destination, it might be perfectly safe to drink water from the tap. If this is the case, make sure you pack a couple of re-usable plastic bottles, as this simple step will stop you from buying dozens of water bottles during your trip. Even in countries where tap water is not safe to drink, many hotels and guesthouses now make a point of offering their guests drinking water for free, so once again, there is no reason why you should be buying bottled water. In countries where street food is the norm, bring a re-usable plastic container instead of having your food served in disposable trays or bags.
Planes, trains, and buses generate carbon dioxide, and there’s no way around it. Or is there? If you choose to fly, avoid stopovers as much as possible, since planes generate the most amount of CO2 when taking off and landing. Once at your destination, use local buses whenever possible, or rent a bike for the duration of your stay, which has the added benefit of getting you into shape. If you must rent a car, go for an economy model or for a hybrid car if they are available.
You don’t need to stay at an expensive eco-lodge in order to travel greener. If there is a recycling program in place, make sure to respect it in the same way as you would do at home. Water is a scarce resource in many popular holiday destinations, so don’t be tempted by that huge bathtub and take a shower instead, keeping it short to avoid wasting water. Also, is it really necessary to have your linen and towels changed every day? Remember that water is a natural resource shared by everyone in the planet, so reducing water waste benefits us all.
What other suggestions do you have for traveling green? Let us know in the comments!
Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.