Sustainable Travel

Date 7. February 2024.

Reducing carbon footprint during travel is a key step towards sustainable and responsible tourism. As global awareness of climate change grows, individuals have begun to recognize their individual impact on the environment in everyday life as well as during travel. From transportation, through accommodation, to daily activities, there are various ways to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling. In this guide, we will explore practical tips and strategies to help you travel more sustainably and contribute to a healthier planet.

Choose Sustainable Transportation
One of the most significant factors in a traveler’s carbon footprint is transportation. Opting for more sustainable modes of transportation can make a significant difference. Whenever possible, choose trains, and even buses instead of airplanes, as they have a much smaller carbon footprint. If flying is unavoidable, consider direct flights as take-offs and landings significantly contribute to emissions.

Drive Responsibly
It is always better to use transportation such as trains or buses, but sometimes it is not possible and a personal car is the only option. However, if traveling by car, consider renting hybrid or electric vehicles if available. Additionally, carpooling, i.e., ride-sharing with other passengers heading in the same direction, is another way to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and an individual’s carbon footprint.

Use Public Transportation
Public transportation, such as buses, trams, and subways, is often more energy-efficient and produces fewer emissions per passenger than private vehicles. Explore the options of local public transportation at your destination and use it for sightseeing. Not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, but it also allows you to experience the destination from a local perspective.

Bicycle and Walking
Whenever possible, opt for human-powered modes of transportation such as cycling and walking. Exploring the destination on foot or by bike reduces emissions of harmful gases and allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture and scenery at a slower pace.

Choose Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Where you stay plays a crucial role in your overall environmental impact. Look for accommodation that prioritizes sustainability initiatives, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction.

Conserve Energy and Resources
Regardless of your choice of accommodation, practice responsible energy and resource consumption. Turn off lights, air conditioning, and heating when not needed, especially when you are not in the room. Reuse towels and sheets to reduce water and energy consumption. Be mindful of water consumption, especially in water-scarce areas like islands.

Support Local Producers and Sustainable Practices
When buying souvenirs, look for them from local producers; small local businesses generally have a smaller carbon footprint than large global chains. Also, avoid single-use plastics: bring a reusable water bottle, use cloth bags instead of plastic ones, and consider cooking or dining at a local restaurant instead of fast food in single-use packaging. When dining out, choose restaurants that source local, seasonal ingredients and prioritize sustainability.

Reducing carbon footprint during travel involves making conscious decisions at every step of the journey. It’s not always easy, but it’s never without purpose: from transportation to accommodation, from daily activities to interactions with local culture, adopting sustainable travel practices can significantly contribute to the well-being of the chosen destination and our planet as a whole.