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Traveling is a great way to discover breathtaking landscapes and experience exotic cultural experiences. However, it can take a toll on the environment. From trash left behind on delicate island ecosystems to greenhouse gas emissions from travel, there are many reasons to practice sustainable travel.
The green travel experience is a growing segment that allows you to travel the world while minimizing your carbon footprint. Here are steps that you can take to reduce the environmental impact while touring the world:
Pick the Carbon Offset Option on Your Flight
Commercial flights account for around 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. By offsetting your carbon emissions, you can eliminate your carbon footprint every time you travel. The option is available on numerous airlines today.
Once you pick your flight, the carbon emissions based on the CO2 produced per flight are displayed. You can make a small contribution to a project that will reduce CO2 emissions by the amount you produce. The result is that you have a zero carbon footprint per flight.
Use Airlines that Utilize Biofuels
Some airlines use biofuels in the energy mix. One such example is Lufthansa, which has operated thousands of biofuel flights. These are fuels sourced from wood chips, plant oils, and agricultural waste. Using these fuels can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. If you find such an airline, it is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Make Sustainable Local Travel Options
A plane is only one of the sources of carbon emissions during a flight. Once you get to your destination, you can make numerous other green travel decisions. One option is to use public transportation instead of a car rental. It is especially so within cities. It reduces your carbon footprint by sharing the bus with others.
Additionally, you can opt to walk to various destinations within the city. If that is not possible, you can opt for an electric car. Electric vehicles produce three times fewer emissions than gasoline cars. Another option is to cycle to your destination. Not only is it a zero-emissions travel option, it ensures that you get a more personalized feel for your travel destination. There is also the added benefit of exercising during your visit.
Opt for a Plant-Based Diet
During your trip, eating a plant-based diet can help cut your carbon footprint. In one study, a plant-based diet could reduce carbon emissions by up to 18%. Additionally, plant-based agriculture could cut water use by up to 70%. By removing all meat and dairy from your diet, your carbon footprint decreases by up to 73%.
Practice Sustainable Shopping
Everyone loves to get something new and interesting during his or her trip. However, the fast fashion industry is a major contributor to carbon emissions. It accounts for up to 105 of global carbon emissions. That is more than the entire commercial airline sector.
However, there are sustainable fashion brands that have a small carbon footprint. Opt to buy from them to minimize your impact on the environment. Additionally, you can visit vintage shops in your local areas or check online marketplaces. Here, you can find pre-loved items that still look great.
Use a Sustainable Travel Company
As green travel has become more popular, some tour companies dedicated to sustainable travel have emerged. These companies take sustainability seriously. They have measures that ensure you have the least impact on the environment when you travel.
Use a Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle is a small but important contribution to cutting back microplastic waste in the world. Many tourist sites require regular cleanups to reduce the plastic bottles tourists leave.
By bringing your own bottle, it ensures that you will not leave any waste behind. While it may seem like a small contribution, if millions of people do the same, it could significantly eliminate the challenge of single-use bottles.
Shop at Small Local Shops
When traveling, shop for souvenirs at the small local shops. The same applies to eating. Opt to eat at local places run by locals. It will have a net effect of creating a sustainable local economy. Additionally, local goods have less of a carbon footprint. In general, always opt for handmade produce whenever you can.
Respect the Natural Landscape and Wildlife
When visiting an area with wildlife or a natural pack, be respectful. Do not feed the animals, and avoid moving things around. Ensure that you leave the area as you found it. Wild animals are important in creating a sustainable ecosystem. While feeding them may seem fun, it disrupts the natural flow of the ecosystem, which can have disastrous long-term effects.
You Can Travel and Protect the Environment
From the tips above, it is clear that you can still travel while protecting the environment. By making the suggested adjustments, you can reduce your environmental impact while still enjoying nature.