While these eco-adventures are great options, there are many different (and more comfortable) ways to go green while traveling.
Traveling just means going from Point A to Point B and what you do at Point B. It doesn’t mean your Point B–your destination–has to be in the middle of nowhere without your creature comforts.
In fact, there are many eco-friendly ways to continue your travels in a more environmentally-friendly way, from your flights to your vacation house rentals.
That’s why today we’ll look at the 7 best ways you can go green while traveling.
#1 Choose accommodation wisely
Where you stay is a big part of your travel and one of the most important ways to go green while traveling. When you choose your holiday house rentals, make sure that the location is as green as possible.
Many rental accommodations now show you their attitude to the environment by displaying various recycling and going green logos. Research well and choose carefully.
#2 Switch off and unplug at home
Before you’ve even gotten started on your travels, make sure that you’ve switched off all appliances and unplugged them as well.
Although many people simply remember to turn off the stove and close the fridge, it’s even better to unplug those appliances that don’t need to remain on.
For example, you should unplug your computer and other items as they still draw power even when switched off.
#3 Pack light
Chances are, you’ll be flying to your destination, although this tip is also important if you’re driving or taking the train.
If you pack a lot of items, the airplane, bus or car will need to use more energy. More energy used means more emissions, so by packing unnecessary things you’re actually increasing your carbon footprint.
To help avoid that, pack the essentials and try to pack as light as possible.
If you are just hoping to get to your destination as quickly as possible, avoid stopovers if you can. While the tickets may be marginally lower, stopping in another city can really increase your trip’s carbon footprint.
If you can find a practical direct flight to your destination, you should definitely take that. This is because a direct flight uses much less fuel than one that needs to land and take off from another stop.
This is even more true since most stopovers are not on the way to the destination, but normally an out-of-the-way stop.
#5 Use carbon offset schemes
Carbon offset schemes allow you to invest in environmental programs anywhere in the world in order to offset your carbon footprint.
As you’ll be using some transportation – most likely airplanes – to get to your destination, you can help offset that carbon footprint.
For example, if you’re flying from the US to the UK, you could simply pay about $25 to offset your flight’s carbon footprint.
#6 Walk, bike or use public transportation
There are three benefits to simply walking or renting a bicycle when you’re in your destination. One is that you’ll be using emission-free transportation, so you won’t be adding to your carbon footprint at all.
The other two is that you’ll really get to see and know everything about the city, and lastly, walking and biking are definitely great for your health.
If where you want to go is too far to walk or bike, use public transportation instead of taxis or car rentals. This will help you to minimize your carbon use–especially since many cities now have greener public transportation.
#7 Do some eco-tourism
OK, so we did mention that you don’t need to do any eco-adventures while you go green while traveling, but you should still try to do that. There are many eco-tourism activities that can minimize your trip’s carbon footprint.
Not only are these activities great for the environment, but they are also immensely fun and helps you to learn about the culture, nature and history of the region.
The activities include hiking, horseback riding, trekking, kayaking or rafting, mountain climbing, snorkeling and many, many other activities.
#8 Eat local and fresh
This is a great way to enjoy your travels, with the added benefit of being eco-friendly. When you buy local, fresh ingredients, you are not just supporting local businesses, but you’re also minimizing your carbon footprint.
Goods that are produced locally don’t require long transportation routes, refrigeration or other energy-draining activities.
They are also probably grown organically. Beyond that, they taste amazing and can help you explore the flavors and culture of the region.
Whenever you can, try to recycle the packaging and products that you end up buying. Always hold onto your trash if there are no recycling bins. Make sure that you separate your items well and never throw trash on the ground.
Also, instead of needing to throw away your plastic water bottles, why not invest in your own refillable travel water bottle.
That way, you can cheaply fill up and also minimize your carbon usage.
Go green while traveling – and living
While these are some of the best ways to go green while traveling without having to sacrifice your comfort, you don’t have to just do them while traveling.
In fact, many of these tips can be used in your regular life, at home and in your own city. You can invest in your local eco-tourism, recycling programs, carbon offset schemes, public transportation, walking or biking so that you can also go green while living your life.
Bio: Nicolaos Le Berre is a writer for Armor-Vacances, an international holiday rental company.