Easy Ways to Travel More Sustainably

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When thinking about ways to travel more sustainably, we usually think that we could fly less often. In this way, our individual carbon footprints can be reduced to a great degree. But for those who want to see the world, flying less often is not a very convenient option. Fortunately, there are a lot of other ways to reduce the impact your travelling habits have on the environment. If you want to change the way you travel too, you are in luck. It can actually be very easy, you just need to start thinking differently about every step of your trip. That includes where you go, what you pack and how you will get there. 

1. First easy way to travel more sustainably: Use a different kind of transportation.

Train Station

The way you decide to use transportation to and from your destination is extremely important. Transport is usually one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gases and other pollutants in general. If you want to leave a lighter footprint, there are some things you can change. First of all, consider not flying to and from your destination. If this is hard to achieve, try to use as few flights as possible during your trip. Try to choose direct flights and consider using other means if you plan to travel close to home.

Are other means of transportation more environmentally friendly? Well, some of them are. According to experts, trains are polluting the environment way less than planes whether they are electric or diesel-powered. Travelling by train is also a wonderful experience, as you can enjoy the landscape and relax. On the other hand boats and cruise ships are even more harmful than aeroplanes. You might want to avoid them, especially when you are travelling to sensitive places like islands. In terms of cars, the more passengers the better. Consider also sharing your car with others, by using websites for carpooling.

2. Choose your destination carefully.

People at the airport.

Choosing your destination is a big part of your trip. The way you choose it though and the reasons behind your decision can have a big impact on the environment too. One of the best ways to travel more sustainably is to travel close to home. You can find local activities, like sightseeing, walking tours and sports events that will help you discover hidden parts of your city. If you need a breath of fresh air, get on a train or a bus and get closer to nature. If it’s the right time of the year, you can enjoy beaches, parks and forests close to you. It will still feel like a trip but without being that harmful to the environment or even tiring for you.

If you want to go further away from home, do your research beforehand. Find sustainable cities, which are destinations that promote a sustainable lifestyle in general. That means that they probably have some plans to manage sustainability, to natural resources, people and heritage and reduce energy consumption. There are many pieces of research done by experts that can help you while searching for places to visit. If you want to go to a more popular tourist place though, consider going there during less crowded seasons. Think about staying there longer and trying to live like a local.

3. Think before you eat or shop.

Market in Singapore.

When you get to your destination you can decrease the impact you have on the local community in many ways. One of them is by being conscious of your consumption. What you bring home with you matters. So don’t hesitate to ask questions and be informed before you purchase anything. From shoes and clothes to souvenirs or food, what you spend your money on matters. Buying local is the best option you have. By avoiding big retailer or chain stores you avoid getting into tourist traps. If you shop from smaller local retailers you support the community directly. In this way you also discover more traditional things either food or clothing. For clothing especially, try to shop in vintage or second hand stores and avoid fast fashion.

Eating out is usually a big part of every trip. If you can, avoid ordering food at the place you stay to reduce the packaging that is used. Instead go outside, wander around the place and find somewhere to enjoy your meal. We recommend you look for local places again, to support the economy of the region. In smaller places, they usually make use of local and traditional products. In terms of what to eat why not try eating vegetarian or vegan? Skipping meat or animal products is the best sustainable and environmentally friendly choice. Remember that meat and dairy production is one of the most polluting industries. If you still want to eat meat, choose chicken or local seafood instead.

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