As you're planning your upcoming summer trips, thinking about reducing your impact on the environment. We don’t always realize that even the seemingly smallest gestures do add up and make difference if we all do it together.
Here are a few simple tips for lightening your travel carbon footprint.
When booking plane travel, try to take nonstop flights to your destination. Fewer flights mean fewer carbon emmissions. If you want to know what your real-time carbon footprint is for a flight download the Careplane app. It displays the carbon footprint of flights from popular websites like Kayak.
If you’re flying, purchase carbon offsets that cancel out the carbon emissions. Carbon offsets help to fund clean energy projects such as capturing methane gases and turning it into clean energy. These can be purchased at sites such as Terra Pass.
Finding a hotel in a location that’s central to the places you’ll be visiting not only saves money, but it reduces the need for car travel. If you’re in a major city stay in a hotel near a train station. On my last trip to Europe I found hotels near train and metro stations in London and Paris. This made it so much easier to get around with luggage. Consider visiting locations with biking and extensive public transportation options. Major cities like London and Washington DC have extensive train systems as well as bike rental stations conveniently located throughout the city.
Carrying reusable water bottles is something that I do on every trip. You can find a local grocery store to purchase filtered water to refill your water bottle, or refill it at your hotel. That way you’re not only cutting down on waste, but you’re saving money as well.
Packing light, not taking those “just in case” clothes and shoes help to reduce weight on the plane, which helps to use less fuel. And it makes your life easier because you’re not lugging around an oversized suitcase filled with clothes you’ll probably never wear.
Weekend trips close to home are another way to lighten our carbon footprints. My post, The Value of Small Travel shows how travel doesn’t always have to mean two-week long excursions to another country. Exploring our own backyards not only gives us a lighter travel footprint, but it also supports local economies and makes travel even more accessible.
Small efforts do make a difference!