How to Travel Sustainably
Get Out There With These Eco-Tourism Tips
Vacations can come with great expense, and not just for your bank account. According to a 2018 study published in Nature Climate Change, travel accounts for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cut through the greenwashing and do your part to lessen these emissions by traveling sustainably.
When possible, trains, hybrid buses, and carpooling are great alternatives to larger, more environmentally intrusive travel methods. Large cruise liners are detrimental to oceans, and airplanes emit large amounts of toxins into the air. However, you can cruise and fly with the earth in mind. Some cruise lines are working to reduce their impact by installing more eco-friendly lighting and materials, and flight experts recommend using “green” airports, choosing fuel-efficient airlines, staying longer, and traveling less. If anything, it’s an excuse to extend your European vacation!
Where you stay impacts the environment as much as how you get there. Hotels use copious amounts of water for bathing and laundry, and they struggle to reduce energy because guests leave their lights and televisions on. However, many luxury resorts, woodsy cabins, and even entire countries have opted to make eco-tourism easier. If you’re looking for a region of the world committed to preserving nature, look no further than Iceland, Finland, and Sweden, which are ranked the three most environmentally friendly places in the world.
Man-made attractions like the Egyptian pyramids and Machu Picchu are some of the world’s greatest wonders, but Earth itself is pretty breathtaking. Check out natural attractions while hiking or camping in preserved forests, or soak up all the Caribbean has to offer by snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. When you’re mindful of your surroundings and remain unobtrusive, there are endless outdoor activities you can explore. Some locations even partner with environmentally conscious organizations you can donate to or volunteer with.
Opt for a green vacation and know that while you relax, the earth is getting a little relief too.