Traveling is a double-edged sword for the environmentally conscious individual. While it offers the opportunity to get new perspectives on our world and provide a sense of closeness to nature, tourism also accounts for massive damage to the environment through over-consumption and producing multiple levels of greenhouse gases.
As the tourism industry starts to heal, a substantial cultural shift is needed to minimize the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses, accommodations, consumers, and even the government must ensure that the thrill and profits generated by travel do not result in irreversible damage to our world and future generations. For example, a more straightforward switch is to utilize renewable energy in our homes by installing and finding the excellent hydro, wind, tidal, and solar energy providers.
Bringing a little forethought, reflective practice, and open-mindedness to the process of travel, we can help reduce the adverse environmental consequences and can even open opportunities to discover the hidden treasures of local tourism truly.
Consider various options to get to your destination
When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, one of the most obvious ways to do it is to fly less. Aviation accounts for around 2.4% of global carbon emissions and contributes to 5% of global warming. Thus, if you can find alternative ways to arrive at your destination, do so.
For example, if you can’t drive to your location, consider using a bus or train to get there as it can also significantly reduce CO2 emissions if you’re traveling many hours away from home.
Try to avoid unnecessary detours
It’s also likely that using other methods of transportation to your location is out of the question. In this case, try to reduce your carbon footprint by taking direct routes as it will get you where you’re going while leaving the slightest influence on the environment.
More carbon is released by planes as they are taking off and landing. Rather than selecting the less expensive ticket with one or more halts, opt for a direct trip. For flights that travel overseas, be sure to look for the one with the least number of stops.
There’s really no need to rush when you’re traveling. To get the most out of a trip, try riding trains or buses that can allow you to enjoy the most scenic view of the place. The same is true for environmentally friendly travel. By railway, the carbon emissions created are fewer than those produced by air travel.
Only bring what you can carry
You would need to put more power into reaching your campsite if you went camping and your rucksack weight twice as much as you did. However, you would scarcely require any energy to get to your destination if you wore a lightweight backpack. The same holds true for an airplane.
This mode of transport utilizes more fuel when it is required to transport massive loads. Depending on the duration of your business or personal travel, you may need a carry-on. If you require a bigger one, then bring only the necessary items.
Always keep in mind that your aim should be to pack as light as possible and make provisions for further use. The weight of heavy luggage takes more gasoline during transit. Thus, you can do away with unnecessary items that will only add to the load. Single-use items such as towels, straws, and other disposable items in your toiletries only encourage waste because of their short lifespan.
While doing so, don’t forget to plan by taking travel-friendly items that will help you reduce the number of disposable products throughout your trip. For instance, instead of filling your entire shower caddy with amenities, opt for smaller, refillable containers.
Additionally, you can carry reusable items with you. Rather than purchasing one bottle every day while you’re sightseeing, why not use a refillable flask that you can take with you anywhere. When plastic water bottles disintegrate, they release toxins into the environment that would last for over 1,000 years. If burnt, they generate hazardous vapors.
Travel continues to rise despite being shaken to its core recently. And with life gradually returning to normal, people are back on their feet and more eager to travel again. Climate change is progressing at a quicker rate, too, than what can be mitigated. Change on a very extreme scale is essential. Thus, if you do go carbon neutral, you will be doing more than just ensuring a sustainable vacation; you will be offering yourself an authentic, better, and more genuine experience that may not exist otherwise.