Green Traveling: Take A Step Toward Environmental Sustainability

green traveling

According to The Nature Conservancy’s report, the average carbon footprint of an American is approximately 16 tons. It is one of the highest rates. Moreover, transportation is one of the major contributors to CO2 emissions.

It might come as a surprise, but as per the U.S. travel association data (2019), American residents recorded 1.9 billion person trips in a single year. All these trips have contributed to the rising pollution and climate change.

Obviously, you can’t stop traveling. It is essential for economic development and for your own wellbeing. So, what can you do to help the environment? Well, the answer is in the title itself. You should try green traveling.

What is green traveling?

It is a broad term that includes two parts. First is the implementation of “responsible traveling practices.” It will help in improving the social, environmental, and economic sustainability of the destination. The second is related to “eco-tourism.” It includes the responsibility of travelers when they visit natural areas (forests, oceans, or deserts). So that no harm is done to the ecosystem.

For this article, the focus will be on the first part, i.e., responsible traveling practices.

“Follow green practices wherever you go”– It might sound a bit easy to implement; however, the reality differs. You need to start from the beginning, i.e., trip planning to ensure that everything goes accordingly. Otherwise, it might get a bit overwhelming.

So, let’s begin!

Be wise with destination selection.

First things first, you need to decide about a travel destination. Do you want to go for a weekend getaway to a nearby location? Or, do you want to go to some other location far from your hometown?

Along with this, you need to learn about the location as well. For example, is there any issue related to water or food shortage? Has the place suffered from a natural calamity recently? Considering these things might help you decide on a good location. You can also go to the offbeat destinations that recently started tourism to support the local community.

Use efficient transportation

After deciding the destination, you need to select the transportation methods to reach the destination. If the location is nearby, you should try to use public transportation services such as trains or buses. It will ensure low carbon emissions as compared to using or renting a car. If you have to use an airplane to reach the destination, try using a bike or walking while exploring the location. It will help in protecting the environment to some extent.

Moreover, walking and biking will also benefit your health while you are enjoying the new location.

Minimal and eco-friendly packing

The next thing you need to pay attention to is packing. You might want to pack a lot of things to ensure the utmost convenience on the trip. However, you need to remember the rule of “minimal packing.” Try to carry reusable items with you and avoid plastic or single-use products.

For instance: you can use metal water bottles instead of plastic ones. Or you can use quick-drying bohemian or Turkish Beach Towels instead of paper towels. These items are more sustainable and will occupy less space in the packing. Furthermore, to reduce your plastic waste, carry reusable bags. Also, try to pack your own toiletries instead of using the hotel ones.

Follow recycling norms of the place.

Once you have reached your destination, understand their rules and regulations. It will help in reducing your waste production. Always throw the waste in their respective bins. Don’t mix the plastic and paper waste; keep the rule of recycling in your mind.

In addition to this, if you have bought something temporarily that you don’t need at home, try and donate it. For instance, if you purchased an umbrella due to sudden rain, you can donate it to the needy or a local NGO before returning back home. These small things will help make your trip more eco-friendly and give you peace of mind.

Support local community

Instead of using renowned hospitality services, try supporting the local community. In simple terms, stay at a place owned by small business owners. Try local and street food instead of dining at the big restaurant. Similarly, you can also participate in volunteering projects of the place to improve its condition.

Remember that life is about- give and take. If a place and its people make your trip memorable, you should also take some steps to support these people. Moreover, it is a good way to ensure that money is infused back into the local economy.

Keep a check on your shopping.

It is good to buy something as a “memory of visit” wherever you go. However, if you are a shopping enthusiast, a simple “memory of visit” item turns out to be a shopping spree. Nonetheless, in this scenario, what you buy is more important than how much you buy.

It means you shouldn’t buy anything which is made by harming the animals and birds. Also, make purchases from local shops and not chain stores or western stores. Additionally, to support the local economy, purchase traditional craft made by small businesses.

Tip: Don’t forget about using your reusable shopping bags. Also, before buying, it would be better if you ask yourself- whether you really need the item or not? It might help you save some money over unnecessary expenditure.

Reduce energy and water consumption

Last but not least, you should try to reduce energy and water consumption as much as possible. You can do this by switching off the lights or fan when not required. Avoid washing clothes in the hotel laundry until you have a full load. Using blinds and curtains for natural light. Natural drying your hair instead of using a hairdryer.

These small things can help you in reducing overall energy and water consumption. And it will also reduce your contribution to the rising carbon footprint.

To sum it all up!

Traveling is essential to improve your health as well as the economic condition of a community. But, not paying attention to sustainability while traveling can have the worst effects. With the above-mentioned green traveling tips, you can help save the environment and contribute to local communities’ wellbeing.

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