Looking to reduce your impact when traveling? There are some easy ways to go green while traveling!
You might be wondering what the heck does “travel green’’ mean anyways!? Being green at home makes sense but how do you take those habits with you when you go on a vacation, and why is it important?
If you are familiar with sustainable living, then you are already aware of what a carbon footprint is. It won’t come as a surprise to you if I tell you transportation is one of the biggest contributors to increasing our carbon footprint, especially airplane travel. This means every time we decide to take a trip that requires us to jump on a plane, we are emitting some crazy amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
How do we change this? How can you make your trip ‘greener’ per se? The first step of any vacation is planning the trip itself. How you plan your trip makes a huge impact on how much more eco-friendly your next vacation will be. Below I will list for you the Top 5 actions you can do to make your trip greener!
Green Travel Tips
Unplug your devices
As I mentioned prior, transportation is a huge part of your footprint. However, energy use is another big one. How you use energy can make a difference in how big your footprint will be. Doing the simple action of unplugging your devices when not in use will make a difference. Just because you turned off your device or appliance, doesn’t mean it still isn’t using energy. When it is completely unplugged no energy is being used. When in your hotel room, unplug your hair dryers, lamps, and fridge (if you don’t need it on).
Stop using bottled water
Waste is another big component of your carbon footprint. Not only is bottled water a huge contributor to waste, not only in landfills but in our oceans. Another component that people may not realize about bottled water, is the plastic itself. Obtaining plastic uses up a massive amount of resources, and sometimes creates a scenario like oil spills damaging our environment. All of this can be mitigated if you stop using bottled water. Instead, use a reusable water bottle.
Stop using straws
Straws are not a necessity when traveling or at home. The plastic used in straws contributes to a lot of the waste found in our oceans. The problem with plastic is it doesn’t break down, and straws are something that can easily be used frequently. If straws are something you can’t do without, try using the reusable straws or switching to the paper straws.
Buy items with less packaging
We all need to purchase things, whether it is a new pair of shoes, or our groceries or a new set of headphones. What we all can do is be more mindful of how much packaging each of these items come in. Not everything needs to be wrapped up in copious amounts of plastic or cardboard. Try to find things that have less packaging, and this will reduce your waste and therefore your footprint as well.
Start looking at the labels of where things are made
Remember how I mentioned transportation is a big part of our footprint? Well, the goods we buy also need a way to get to us. This means if you live in North America, but frequently buy clothes made in Asia, you are going to have a larger footprint. Since your clothes are being shipped halfway across the world. How can this be avoided? Start looking at the label, see where things are made and produced. Make informed decisions before your purchase and you can choose to buy things that are more local or produced closer to home.
This is just a tip of the iceberg of the actions you can take while you travel. I have put together a packing list that will make your trips more sustainable. Head over to Green Travelling 101 and grab your free eco-friendly packing list.