Living more sustainably and embracing a ‘greener’ lifestyle is a must for everybody these days. If you have managed to tweak your daily routine at home in an effort to reduce your carbon footprint, you may be wondering how to go about it on your travels, too. Here are some helpful tips for travelling more sustainably that you probably haven’t considered yet.
Fly instead of cruise
You may think that cruising on a ship is a more environmentally-friendly way to travel when compared to long-haul flights. This, however, isn’t the case. According to Climate Care, a successful carbon offsetting company, a cruise ship, such as Queen Mary 2, emits 0.43kg of CO2 per passenger mile, while an aeroplane over the course of a long-haul flight emits approximately 0.257kg of CO2 per passenger mile. In other words, flying is almost twice as eco-friendly as cruising. Now is the time to start looking for the cheapest flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg – or anywhere in the world, for that matter!
Furthermore, be mindful of the airline with which you choose to fly. There are various airlines out there that are dedicating time and resources to reducing their carbon footprint. Some of these carriers include KLM, Air France, and Cathay Pacific – the latter is even in the process of trialling electric vehicles for the sake of the environment.
Keep shopping to a minimum
Many tourists see a holiday as an opportunity to indulge in retail therapy, often buying far too many clothes to even fit into their luggage when it is time to depart their holiday destination. In many cases, these impulse buys are also often discarded shortly after returning home.
The reality is that tons and tons of clothing items are sent to landfills across the globe each and every year and, obviously, this is not doing the environment any favours. As such, try your best to curb your holiday shopping as much as you can.
If you must shop (and that would apply to many of us), be sure to invest in items that you can be certain will last you a long time and that are pieces which will effortlessly fit in with the rest of your wardrobe.
Investigate every hotel’s ‘green’ policy
Obviously, you can live more sustainability while on holiday by making sure that the hotel at which you plan to stay is also making ‘green’ living a priority for its guests. For instance, does the hotel use earth-friendly sheets and duvet covers? Or are they still using cotton bedding despite cotton being one of the polluting industries? Do they utilise harmful chemicals in the swimming pool? Have they installed LED light bulbs in all of the rooms?
Answers to these questions will give you a good idea of whether or not the hotel is living up to its duty of caring for the planet.
Be careful how you integrate with animals
Riding elephants or swimming with sharks is neither a sustainable practice, nor is it kind to the wildlife. Studies have shown that being too close to humans can have a negative effect on wild animals through increased stress levels and changes in their feeding and breeding habits. If you are keen to integrate and spend time with animals during your trip, consider volunteering at a sanctuary or a non-profit instead.
Think carefully before buying souvenirs
Are you sure that the souvenir you want to purchase is, in fact, authentic? Always try your best to invest in souvenirs and keepsakes that you are certain have been crafted by locals; otherwise you are simply throwing money at opportunistic companies that are more than likely contributing to both pollution and poverty in the area.
You also do not want to buy a souvenir that looks great in the store, but that you get tired of quickly once back at home. Only invest in an item if you are 100% sure that it is something you will cherish for many years to come.
Be mindful of what you eat
As you probably know, consuming large portions of meat, or consuming meat products numerous times a week, has a sizeable negative impact on the environment. Therefore, do your best to limit how much meat you eat while you are away just as you would when you are at home.
Also, if you are visiting a coastal town and are keen to try their local seafood, do your research into what types of seafood are sustainably sourced before ordering anything listed on the menu.
By implementing the aforementioned tips, you can continue to travel guilt-free, leaving your actual footprint on a new nation and a new experience, but leaving little to no trace of a carbon footprint in the process.