We all have to share the same planet. Shouldn’t we treat it with the same respect as we would treat the home of a loved one?
We create enough waste just living our daily lives—coffee cups, needless plastic wrappers and containers, CO2 emissions. But that amount of waste can go up even further when we travel. While travelling, people generate much more waste because they’re buying everything they need new and on the spot.
It’s important to get your mind around the idea of sustainable travel, something that can help every one of us live more peacefully on this planet.
What Is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel is an attitude or a mode of travelling that keeps waste, the environment, and consumption in mind. It’s about minimizing your environmental footprint in all sorts of ways.
That ranges from reducing your impact on the places you’re travelling through by choosing green modes of transport to purchasing renewably boxed foods and finding compost sites for your scraps and waste.
From investing in portable power stations to reusing plastic bags, there are tons of easy ways to start.
Why Does Sustainable Travel Matter?
Climate change is the most significant threat facing humanity today. According to a 2017 U.S. Climate Science special report, if global emissions continue to increase at the same pace they’ve held since 2000, by 2050, the global temperature will have increased by five degrees since 1960.
Five degrees doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can do everything from changing the tides in the ocean, melting the ice caps, flooding coastal areas, and punishing already endangered species.
Sustainable travel is one huge way that humans can turn back the clock on climate change. The National Resources Defense Council include tips like actually eating the food you buy and reducing water waste in their guide on how to stop climate change – both great tips for sustainable travelling.
5 Tips for Sustainable Travel
- Go by train, not by plane: Planes use an enormous amount of CO2. An easy workaround is to travel by train whenever travelling domestically. You can turn your trip into a train trip and see parts of the country you’d never get to see otherwise.
- Take your own travel mug and containers: So much unnecessary plastic, metal, and paper go into packaging food. Bring your own mug and Tupperware for leftovers to offset this waste.
- Use carbon offsetting: Download a carbon offsetting app to automatically reinvest the money you spend in carbon-negative ways into carbon-positive projects.
- Avoid single-use plastics: The best way to avoid single-use plastics is to seek out farmer’s markets and street fairs, where everything is out for the taking. Just bring your tote and load up on the essentials.
- Visit National Parks and wildlife reserves: Throwing your money at a state park is never a bad idea. These sites help keep endangered species alive and protect fragile ecosystems. They can use all the help they can get.
Travel for a Better Planet
The time to take action is now. Next time you travel, make sure you do so sustainably.