*Please review my disclaimer, permission, and privacy page for more information. This post may contain affiliate links or advertisements. These come at no extra cost to you! In fact, it might help you save money and give me a small percentage
*AirBnb’s are a great option for traveling and can help to reduce your ecological impact. For a discount off your first stay click HERE for a referral code
*If you are looking to get started with booking your trip, look no further then Kiwi! Choose from budget airlines, airports all over the world, care rentals, and book your stay. All through the convenience of your web browser or through their app! Start searching your next holiday here
Following up on my last blog post on Eco-friendly packing ideas, I decided to make a small mini-series on how we can start to be more environmentally and sustainable travelers. This post will be focusing on transportation.
So, what exactly is ecotourism? As per ecotourism.org, it is responsible travel that includes protecting the environment, the socio-economic wellbeing of the local people, and a greater understanding and appreciation for a community and its environment. Ecotourism starts when you start planning a trip to the time you return home and start implementing the strategies in your local communities. Ecotourism is not for just when we are abroad, but when we are at home as well. If we feed into over-tourism, we will start to see the destruction of the environment and its peoples, making it nonexistent for future generations.
When we are traveling, most of the time, we are boarding a plane to take us to our final destination. I am not sure if this comes as a surprise to anyone, but planes have a substantial CO2 output. Sometimes travel by air is the only option, but it does not mean that there is nothing you can do to help offset some of your carbon footprint.
- Take off, and landing uses the most carbon emissions; try to reduce this by booking direct flights. Not only do you get there faster, but you also save on the number of times that you need to take off/land.
- Pack light! By packing lighter, you help to decrease the weight of the plane, making it more efficient. Imagine how much would be saved if everyone reduced their weight by just five pounds.
- For domestic flights, investigate public transportation options. Buses/trains are an excellent option for helping to reduce carbon emissions. Sometimes it may take you a little longer to get there, but it can be well worth the journey
- If flying is truly your only option, look into carbon offset initiatives. You can calculate how much CO2 your journey will produce with this calculator, and then you can buy renewable energy to help lessen your carbon footprint. Make sure to do your research into reputable companies. Look into these options here
Instead of renting a car or taking a taxi, do some research to determine what kind of public transportation options you have. The most popular options are usually a bus or a train. It is relatively easy to get around a place even when you have never been before. You can almost always find an app that will help you to plan your trip, or you can download google maps offline if you are worried about having service. I personally love taking the train whenever possible. There are generally fewer transfers, and you can often see the countryside a lot better.
Use Your Own Two Legs
Walking is not only the easiest way to offset your carbon footprint, but also the cheapest and will offer you the best views. There are so many options for hikes, walks, or even taking a bicycle, to help get you outside. Since I have started living in Scotland, I find myself walking way more than when I was living in Canada. Most tourist attractions that are out of the main townsite will sometimes offer something like a coastal walking path. We ran into this with Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven. In under an hour, we walked from Stonehaven to Dunnottar, catching some spectacular views. Walking can sometimes require a little more research, but it is well worth it for your health and the health of the planet.
Just remember that it is tough to be a perfect eco-tourist. Trying to implement small steps along the way is better than not doing anything at all. I hope you follow along with me in this mini-series on being a more sustainable traveler. If you have any other tips, I would love it if you would share them with me!
“A traveler without observation; Is a bird without wings” – Moslih Eddin Saadi
Click below to follow along on this mini-series