If want to travel green tips but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top green travel tips and guides for becoming an eco-conscious traveler. Green is in, as they say. Every where, people and organizations are doing their best to protect the environment by undertaking steps to take care of Mother Earth. And while tourists may not have as much impact on the environment as say, miners, you should know that there are also green travel tips that every tourist should be aware of and follow. According to the World Tourism Organization, the travel industry is the fastest growing industry on the planet. The group says that there were more than 700 million international arrivals worldwide in 2014 alone.
Tourism is also a main source of carbon dioxide emissions, which in turn causes climate change. For instance, aviation produced more than 700 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2013, or nearly 20 percent of the human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. Overall, it is estimated that the transportation sector (where tourism is a part of) is responsible for 27 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions. And we’re not even talking about other aspects of environmental protection, like the efficient use of energy and proper waste disposal! That said, here are some of the green travel tips that you must know and practice the next time you travel:
- If possible, explore the country or place you are visiting on foot. You might want to use a bicycle or opt for trolley service in going to your destination. Or take public transportation like buses or trains. Avoid taking rental cars to help save fuel and money. Visiting on foot not only helps you save on costs, but it also presents the best way for you to get to know the locals. Wouldn’t it be exciting to ask the locals how to get to a certain tourist destination? This may even win you some friends down the road. Sure, there are really times when you can’t help but take a rental car. In case that happens to you, choose the smallest car possible as this often uses the least amount of fuel. Or choose a hybrid car, if there’s any.
- If you are planning a road trip, ask your family members, colleagues, or friends if they are interested in joining you. Individual tours have a greater environmental impact than traveling in groups.
- Avoid buying plastic water bottles. Instead, bring along a jug that you can fill up with water. This will help in producing less garbage, reducing your environmental impact in the process.
- Don’t litter any garage while you are on the road. You might have to take your trash with you and then dispose these at an appropriate place, like at the hotel were you’re staying. While you are at it, bring a reusable plastic bag with you. This will come in handy when you shop for souvenir items, as you no longer have to ask for a bag for carrying the things you bought.
- Opt for low-carbon activities. These include swimming, trekking, horseback riding, caving, and mountain climbing. These activities are not only fun but they can make you appreciate nature even more.
- Immerse yourself in and be open about the differences of cultures. Learn more about the social norms and customs of the place you are visiting. You may even try to learn a few commonly used words in the country you’re visiting.
You can also be an eco-conscious traveler in many ways. For example, you can show your concern for the environment by wisely choosing the hotel where you will be staying. Did you know that there is an increasing number of websites that list down green hotels, lodges, and bed and breakfasts? You may want to find one of these websites and stay in one of the environment-friendly hotels listed there. Some of the questions you may want to ask before booking are:
- What is the profile of the hotel? Is it locally owned or operated? Does it employ locals?
- Does it have recycling programs?
- Does it encourage the reuse of towels and bed sheets?
- Does it have energy reduction programs like use of energy-efficient lighting or alternative energy sources?
When you are at the hotel, follow some simple energy saving practices. Turn off the TV and lights when not in use. Turn off the air conditioner when you are about to leave the room. Keep your showers short. Shut off the water while you brush your teeth. Reuse your towels. Did you know that washing of towels and bed sheets is a major energy drain for most hotels? Experts estimate that it causes around 40 percent of the total water consumption of most hotels. Basically, treat your room as your own home. Be conscious of the amount of electricity and water you use while you are away from home.
When planning your trip, you must consider booking a direct flight. Why? Because take offs and landings use a lot of fuel, and you don’t want to be in connecting/multiple flights that further add up to the carbon dioxide emissions. Pack light. This may sound impractical especially if you have a big family, but this is very much doable. Bring only the things you would really need for the duration of your trip. Not only would this help you save money, but it can also have an impact on the plane’s carbon emissions.
Generally speaking, the greater the load that planes (and even trains and buses) have to carry, the more fuel they will use. And this translates to more greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. As you can see, there are a lot of things that travelers can do to minimize their impact on the environment. So be an eco-conscious traveler! Keep these green travel tips in mind and practice them the next time you are on a holiday.
Getting Started green travel tips
What is Green Travel? Defining the latest eco-conscious travel jargon.
15 Reasons to Travel Green: If you’re on the fence about eco travel, learn why people do it.
Shades of Green Travel: Are you pea green, kelly green, or forest green? Find out.
Ultimate Guide to Packing Light: 45 tips to lighten your load – and save you money.
46 Simple Ways to Save Cash Now with Green Travel: 46 tips for saving money while traveling green.
Green Travel Tips
We will take you from a novice green traveler to an expert. It covers how to get started, what to do before you go, how to travel green while you’re away, and what to do on your way home.
- 31 Reasons to Travel Green: In Pictures
- Defining Green Travel
- Ultimate Directory of Top Green Travel Destinations
- 12 Paper-Free Guidebooks
- 4 Principles for Choosing Green Transportation
- Bus and Train Routes Across the World
- The Best Search Engines for Non-Stop Flights
- 11 Best Tips for Packing Light
- 6 Pieces of Travel Gear You Should Buy New
- 12 Things You Need to Know About Carbon Offsets
- How to Find Green Accommodations
- Drinking Green Anywhere in the World
- Tips for Healthy Water Abroad
- Sustainable Dining Guide
- 11 Tips and Tricks for Greening your Hotel Stay
- Getting Around – Public Transportation
- What to Do – Green Activities
- Volunteering Abroad – 10 Things to Know
- 21 Resources for Volunteering Abroad & Why You Should Do It
- Everything I Need to Know About Watching Wildlife I Learned in Kindergarten
- How to Take Culturally Sensitive Photos
- How to Find Sustainable Souvenirs
- Spread the Word
Digging Deeper green travel tips
- Extreme Hypermiling: 450+ Tips
- Shades of Green Travel
- Airplane Cabin Air: It’s Toxic
- How to Choose a Healthy Water Bottle
- How to Become a Traveling Locavore