Travel looks destined to make a strong return this year – at least in some parts of the world. As we return to some degree of normality, it’s important not to neglect our responsibilities. With an increase demand comes a potentially greater impact on the environment so, where we can, we should think about how we can travel more sustainably. Here are five very simple tips that are super easy to adopt. Please add your own in the comments!
1. Don’t print your travel documents
In most cases, you don’t need paper copies of your travel documents. Whether it be tickets for public transport, boarding passes, hotel check-ins or other booking confirmations, usually it’s sufficient to carry this information digitally. Just make sure you have plenty of charge on your device(s). Not being reliant on an internet connection (ie. having the tickets saved to your device, rather than having to go online to view your email) is recommended also. And, given the current situation, the other benefit of using contactless technology means you can avoid unnecessary contact.
2. Offset your carbon footprint
It’s inevitable – wherever you travel, you’re going to have an environmental impact and, depending on how you travel, that impact may vary enormously. But one easy way to give back to the environment is to offset your carbon emissions. By offsetting, you can help protect forests or deliver energy efficiency projects around the world via NGOs.
3. Use public transport and car-sharing apps
Have you considered travelling by train rather than flying ever? It can actually be a really enjoyable experience and, with some trips, even save you time. Using public transport can also increase fuel efficiency and reduce traffic congestion. Apps such as Google Maps, CityMapper and Moovit can all help with planning routes on public transport. Similarly, simply sharing a car from the airport to your hotel will help to decrease carbon emissions. Apps such as BlaBlaCar, Car2go and Zipcar are just some of the car sharing apps available.
4. Behave responsibly in hotels
With many hotels nowadays, you can have your bed changed only if you need it, or request fresh towels only if you place them in a certain location (such as in the bath). Observe these rules and only change bedding and towels if you really need to and you’ll be making a small contribution towards being more sustainable.
5. Eat locally
Do you think about the produce you eat and where it’s come from? By eating at restaurants that source produce locally (or choosing dishes from a menu that are more locally sourced), you’ll not only be helping reduced food miles but you’ll also be supporting local farms and businesses, and even promoting genetic diversity.