One of the best ways you can appreciate the wonders of the world is by embracing them. From man-made cities to natural landscapes, there is a lot to see and do. However, many top destinations tourists love today are endangered by deforestation, climate change, and other forms of human devastation. Travel and tourism contribute to this damage as many people have not yet adopted eco-friendly travel essentials.
If you want to help correct the destruction of the environment by different means of traveling, use eco-friendly options to get around. This doesn’t mean rearranging your whole trip, as something like eco-friendly travel backpacks is a step in the right direction. Also, when you switch to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, you will need to borrow fewer online title loans as you won’t need to buy the stuff you use today. But first, what is eco-friendly travel?
What is Eco-Friendly Travel?
Eco-friendly tourism means you travel responsibly. In this case, you will choose eco-friendly travel trailers or tour companies that prioritize the environment and benefit communities you’re visiting. It also means knowing how your carbon footprint impacts the places you’re seeing. Also, it’s packing eco-friendly travel accessories, including using a reusable tote bag and eco-friendly travel coffee mugs.
Climate change is a real concern, especially in the travel industry, and you should aim to lower your carbon footprint. Focus on working with carbon-neutral businesses or companies that make an effort to lower their environmental impact. With more people talking about the climate, there has been a surge in demand for eco-friendly travel. You should also join this movement by ensuring you don’t use the methods of travel that put the globe in danger.
Many eco-friendly travel companies offer packages suited for families, helping to lower their carbon footprint. Often, you hear about solo adventures, but this does not mean people with families cannot travel, even during comfort-style trips. If you’re interested in traveling without hurting the planet, here are seven eco-friendly ideas you should embrace.
1. Travel By Train
In America, trains produce only 2% of greenhouse gases, yet this type of transport is 8% more efficient than flying and 30% more efficient than driving. Most electric trains can use renewable energy to operate, making this mode of transport a better option for people who are conscious about protecting the environment. For example, in countries like the Netherlands, trains use electricity produced by wind turbines to transport 600,000 people daily. Most train companies have also made changes to make their systems more environmentally friendly, including LED lighting and better traction, transforming this means of transport into a greener alternative.
2. Ride a Bike
Bicycles are eco-friendly travel options if you want to move throughout cities. Instead of using a car to get around while on vacation, you can opt for bicycles, which don’t have a significant impact on the environment. The more people go off the road, the better it’s for the environment. Cycling does not require gasoline, so no harmful emissions or smog are going into the air when you ride a bicycle. Using a bicycle several times a week in place of a car is a simple solution if you want to lower your impact on the environment when you travel. Besides, cycling reduces noise pollution.
A bicycle does not use antifreeze and many other fluids used in vehicles that contribute to environmental pollution. When disposed of, some of those fluids make their way into the environment, endangering ecosystems. In addition, riding a bike is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. It allows you to explore places, meet new friends, and connect with like-minded individuals. In your area, you can join a cycling club to learn about routes and the best gears for certain paths.
3. Fly Direct Routes
Besides packing eco-friendly coffee travel mugs, you should consider flying direct routes to lower the impact on the environment. According to a recent study reviewing popular flight routes in the U.S., it emerged that airlines use less carbon dioxide when they fly direct than use connecting routes. The researchers used international civil aviation data to examine whether taking nonstop routes can mitigate carbon emissions.
The paper provides the efforts to quantify carbon emissions linked with tourist air travel across the U.S. It showed that air travel contributes up to 20% of tourism’s carbon footprint globally. In the research, experts focused on some of the most populated metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, and thirteen tourist destinations within the Sunbelt and Western areas, such as California, Los Angeles, and Texas.
The findings showed that the difference between taking direct flights and using connecting routes was 100kg of carbon per person, which translates to running a refrigerator for a whole year. Also, they found that most of the direct routes had a carbon footprint of below 575 kg per person, which is the annual mobility cap.
4. Drive an Electric Vehicle
In addition to packing eco-friendly travel bags, you can make a bigger impact by using an electric vehicle when you travel. Compared to gas-powered vehicles, an electric vehicle is better for the environment throughout its life cycle. First, electric vehicles produce lower greenhouse gas emissions. From the process of extracting the resources required to build the vehicle, to recycling it, there are many things that make electric cars ideal for eco-friendly traveling. The only significant impact on the environment comes during the manufacturing process.
Gas-powered vehicles contribute to the most polluting emissions, followed by hybrid vehicles. However, electric vehicles don’t produce any polluting emissions. One of the arguments people might have against electric vehicles is that they increase energy consumption, which pushes up power plant’s emissions. But many companies are turning to renewable energy, which creates an entirely green method of transportation.
Eco-Friendly Must-Have Products
5. Pack Lightly
You don’t need to carry much stuff when traveling, from carrying eco-friendly travel clothes to an eco-friendly travel mug. Break out the luggage and travel light even if you’re planning to travel far. The amount of things you bring to the flight adds a certain amount of weight, contributing to the amount of fuel the plane will burn, impacting CO2 emitted. A smaller bag reduces emissions output and also makes your life easier when carrying your stuff around.
Consider the things you really need and pack those first. Any other luxury items you can do without packing. Also, think about the consumable things you can purchase when you get to your destination and don’t carry those. Use reusable bottles or toiletries for packaging if you want to compartmentalize your luggage and have more space.
6. Book Environmentally Friendly Places to Stay
Like finding an eco-friendly travel agency, you should also choose environmentally friendly places to stay. Hotels can be horrendous for the environment as they include massive buildings that house many people. A hotel will use a large amount of water and energy to run different services. To respond to their carbon footprint, some hotels embrace ideas to explore reusable energy and reduce wastage. When booking hotels, it’s worth it to search for ones making an effort to protect the environment. You can also use programs that allow guests to opt for one-off towels each day, which helps cut down on energy used to wash them.
7. Use Public Transportation
Public transportation options like the train and buses can be good options to lower your carbon footprint. Metros and subways are better for the environment than single-occupancy vehicles. Also, they reduce road congestion, which often leaves cars idling while giving off emissions. Some cities have electric buses, which use fuel cells or batteries to produce up to 50% fewer emissions than buses running on natural gas.
Embracing more eco-friendly travel options involves small steps like riding a bus or walking to larger changes like using an electric train or flying direct. While these changes seem small, they can significantly impact the environment positively if more people follow the same path. How have you changed your life to support eco-friendly living? Leave a comment below.
About the Author
Jade is a financial analyst and has been involved in many successful business projects with various companies throughout the country. She started writing three years ago and enjoys researching, discussing, and writing on finances, budgeting, money advice, lifestyle, and wellness. Jade loves to spend time with her family and has many hobbies, including hiking, riding a bike, cooking, and traveling.