🌏There’s a whole world out there. Full of people. Full of sites. We have a lot that we can learn from the wonders of travel and the experiences that come with it, good or bad.
But much like our commute, moving human beings from point A to point B demands energy.⚡️That energy, for now, comes from fossil fuels most of the time. And fossil fuels as we know, are no bueno.👎
Those who enjoy taking trips and seeing distant lands are in a bit of a predicament. How does one travel while minimizing the footprint that traveling often has?👣
Some great ways to minimize our footprint and maximize our positive impact are to:
- ✈️Minimize air travel and fly direct when possible
- 🛏Stay in more communal spaces
- 💰Contribute to the local economy
- 🍴Bring travel friendly reusable products
- 🎒Travel light
Minimize air travel and fly direct when possible
Planes emit a lot of potent emissions that makes them one of the least sustainable methods of travel. Surprisingly, it would be more eco friendly for the same amount of people to drive rather than fly, and taking a bus or train is even better!🚞
Whenever possible, consider taking a road trip with friends, or hopping on a bus or train. Of course these options are limited to the distance we can go and the continent we are on. But it’s always better to check into these options first, especially when our flights aren’t so far.🗺
Maybe a plane flight is unavoidable, what then? Well, a lot of emissions are actually generated during takeoff and landing. This is why it’s always better to fly direct whenever possible. Because it minimizes the stop and go.
Something else that we can do to minimize air travel can be to do more planning for our destination spot. It may be worthwhile to figure out the area’s public transit or transportation whether it be buses, trains, or bikeshares for local stuff. Knowing that we could take a 2 to 4 hour bus or train ride could save us, and the planet, a very unnecessary flight. 💨
Stay in more communal or low impact space
Hostel instead of hotel, an Airbnb with friends instead of an entire house to ourselves, or staying at a friends house: all of these things are great ways to minimize the footprint from our living space. Buildings require space that otherwise could have been a natural area. They also need energy to heat and cool their space, and that energy creates more emissions as well.
Being in a space that has shared areas such as a kitchen or bathroom does wonders on a building’s footprint, literally and...carbon-ly. Also a great option is choosing a space that you can share with friends, or maybe even with who’s renting it out.
💚Communal space brings people together. It allows for the beautiful opportunity to create connections that would otherwise be very difficult if we were stuck in a hotel room alone. And to top it all off, it’s typically better for the planet!
Support the local economy
Sustainability has always begun on the local level. Usually because it’s only those who live locally who know what is best for the community. Only by giving to businesses and people who will invest back into that same community can we create a better world.
Eat at local restaurants or grocery stores, get local guides, etc.
Also, if haggling is normal in the areas we are visiting, we ought to not do it simply because it’s acceptable.💲If we have the money then we should be happy to spend it and help those trying to make a fair living.
A part of supporting local is looking into what industries actually help the local economy. If something is local but it ends up polluting natural areas or treating people/animals poorly, it’s obviously better to stay away from them. 🙅♀️
Bring travel friendly zero waste products
The very nature of travel is on-the-go. And this usually doesn’t translate very easily into zero waste, especially since single-use to-go things are what makes up a lot of our trash.
We wrote a great article on 7 zero-waste Travel products that should be very helpful. It all comes down to what we are throwing out when we travel or otherwise. This will help determine what zero waste products we need and don’t need.🚮
Check out the article, but some options could be a reusable:
- Cutlery set
- Food container
- Water bottle
- Tissue pack (like LastTissue)
- Squeeze tubes
- Toiletry set (see zero waste bathroom post)
Just like having less is the original eco-eco friendly way of life, this also extends to travel. When there are so many people as there are on buses, trains, or planes, the extra weight we bring with us can have a large impact.
🧳Travelling minimally can provide a less stressful, lighter, and eye opening experience. By living out of a backpack for a couple weeks or a couple months, we may begin to realize that we don’t need nearly as much as we have.
We may even begin to realize that, when we don’t have too much, our stuff begins to contribute to our experience rather than get in the way.
Many of us, when we travel, tend to let down our hair and become a little more lenient on things. But preventing harm to the environment is never something we should be lenient on. Especially when we can easily minimize our footprint while enjoying our destination.🏖
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.