Traveling is a wonderful way to expand your mind, get to grips with other cultures and find out more about the kind of person you really are – it can be really rewarding which is why it’s so unfortunate that it can also have a terrible impact on the planet.
If you travel a lot, particularly by plane, your carbon footprint can be huge, but it doesn’t actually have to be that way. Although we should all try to perhaps travel a little less, there are numerous things we can all do right now to improve our sustainability as we visit other parts of this planet…
Take the Train
Yes, taking the train (where possible) might be far slower than hopping on a plane, but it has a far smaller carbon footprint. Not only that, but slow travel has become a huge trend in recent years and that’s because it allows you to see more of the sights that you would never get to see when flying in by plane. Fron India to Siberia, there are few places where you can’t take a leisurely train journey, and if you’re serious about being more sustainable, that’s exactly what you should do!
Give Something Back
Whether you choose to throw some money into carbon offsetting your journey ( you should probably always do this) or you decide to give back by donating a little cash to a local organization that will help the people there to better themselves and take better care of the environment – social programs and eco charities- if you give back to every place you visit, you will make a positive impact wherever you go and you will feel a whole lot happier about your travels as a result too.
Be Supportive of the Local Economy
When you’re visiting an area, make a real effort to support the local economy instead of buying from big brands. Sure, locally produced goods are often a little more expensive, but they will have a far greater impact, especially if you’re traveling in a poorer area, and they will typically use far fewer resources too. For example, if you were to visit Cancun – be sure to stay at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa if you do – instead of buying those authentic Mexican sombreros that are actually made in China, which you will find in many a gift store, go to the artisan creators in the local villages, who really do make them by hand, If you do this, you will help to keep a culture alive, help to keep someone in employment and cut your carbon footprint significantly. What’s not to love?
Avoid the Plague of Plastic
It’s so easy to use a lot of plastic when you’re traveling, but plastic not only takes a lot of natural resources to produce, it dumps a lot of lethal trash back into the oceans and into the ground, So, instead of buying takeout coffee, drink from a real cup and savor the moment, or buy a cup you can fill up. Instead of drinking bottled water, take a life straw with you and filter it wherever you go, and take a rucksack everywhere with you so you don’t have to use plastic bags.
What do you do to minimize your carbon footprint when you’re traveling?