Traveling includes the experience of new cultures, nature, history, ideas, food and learning more about the world. When traveling there are many different things to keep in mind to be more eco-friendly. Sustainable travel is all about making simple choices to lessen your negative impact on the planet. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind next time you travel to become a responsible traveler and have a positive effect on the world.
Each individual makes only small difference which might seem insignificant in the big picture. But collectively becoming more conscious about the little things can have a huge impact.
When traveling it's better to be familiar with the destination, pack appropriate clothes and be prepared for the weather. It's also better to know if to expect warm, cold or extreme weather and terrain such as in Iceland.
How to be smart when traveling?
Here are 7 tips to incorporate into your travel routine, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure you can be a responsible traveler.
1. Fly responsibly
You might become pleasantly surprised to find that softening your personal impact is not complicated—or pricey. The number one easy greeny tip is to book non stop flights as often as you can. Take-offs and landings create the most of an airplane's carbon emissions and a non stop flight is going to use the least amount of fuel.
2. Take a road trip
If you are traveling in driving distance from the destination and you are with your family or friends consider instead of taking a road trip by car if you can use public transport, hire a bike, or walk when it’s convenient. You’ll meet local people and get to know the place much better than behind the window of a private car or a taxi.
3. Travel by ship or train
If you have the time to travel by ship or train than it's better for the environment and it has less environmental impact. If you however need to rent a car consider choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle. What also many people enjoy about hybrids is how easy they are to drive.
4. Save energy
Take a short shower instead of a bath. Showering can use approximately 40-100 liters of water, while baths use about 7 times more. If you are staying at a hotel, make sure to hang your towel after each use which is a sign you would like to use them again. That way you can prevent unnecessary laundry and reduce the hotels ecological footprint. Also make sure to take any leftover soap and shampoo with you from the hotel you are staying at as unused portions are often thrown away. When you leave your hotel room make sure to turn off the lights, heat and TV.
5. Be prepared for the weather conditions
If you go hiking, make sure to stick to the path to avoid harming nature and research weather conditions and terrain before hiking. If you are traveling in Iceland you need to pay attention to weather conditions and road conditions, especially if you are traveling in winter. You don't want to get lost and require a ranger rescue which drains resources. Which happens unfortunately way too frequently in Iceland.
6. Pack light
Lightening up your load increases plane fuel efficiency. Pack items that can be worn multiple times during your trip. Some hotels give away clothes that are left behind to the Red Cross. If you are staying at a hotel that gives away clothes to those in need, bring a dress which you have a chance to use on your travel but you'll never use at home. Then you can leave it behind knowing it will have a new life with someone that appreciates it.
7. Shop smarter
Read on the labels and ask questions about the materials. Pack a bag to bring with you in case you go shopping so you don’t need to ask for plastic bags every time you do your shopping. Remember to vote with your wallet and avoid buying non-sustainable and artificial items.
You don't need to spend a lot of money to become a more eco-friendly traveler. Being more conscious and aware of how you travel can actually save you money. You'll also help building environmental and cultural awareness. Always make an effort to travel responsibly to natural areas that conserve the environment and help improve the wellbeing of local people. If we all take simple steps to become more conscious of our impact in the planet, collectively we can make a world difference.
Learn 3 tips to a more sustainable everyday life
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