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Since the travel industry is responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions alone, it’s time to include the concept of sustainability in this aspect now that the floodgates have opened, and we’re all rushing to book our next travel adventure.
While our travel-hungry hearts can never turn down a travel opportunity, here are some tips on how you can rethink your post-pandemic travel and become a more environmentally conscious traveler in 2022.
Ditch the plane and embrace slow travel
Among the ten most polluting sectors in the world, aviation is expected to reach a quarter of all emissions by 2050. Yes, we know, that sounds outrageous. Although we can’t avoid flying, when the situation allows, it’s a good idea to hop on a train or bus to get from one city to another (especially in larger areas like India). Europe and the United States).
The positive side of this slow journey also allows you to experience the stunning landscapes and countryside of a city or country along the way.
In a city itself, we suggest you choose to take the tour by bike or electric scooter to discover the nooks and crannies of your destination, just like a local. If you have to take a taxi, opt for carpooling, which would not only allow you to offset your emissions, but also allow you to meet interesting people along the way. The greater the number of passengers, the lower the carbon footprint of each.
If a flight seems like the only option, look for airlines that use renewable biofuels and jet fuels if possible. More airlines are trying to accommodate this as technology advances.
To name a few, Alaska Airlines, KLM, Aeromexico, Lufthansa, United and Delta Airlines are making the transition. Singapore Airlines is also expected to start using a fuel blend derived from used cooking oil and waste animal fat under a pilot program.
Put a greener roof over your head
You don’t have to be camping in the wilderness to be a more environmentally conscious traveler. As nature lovers and lovers of beautiful things, let us introduce you to the concept of Eco-accommodation and chalets.
A popular concept on Airbnb, filter your search by clicking on “Earth Homes”, and you’ll be presented with a plethora of options, including homes that are sustainably made with natural materials, offer solar panels, or are owned by hands green who share sustainable development. – living thought.
For people who prefer the comfort and convenience of hotels and resorts, it’s a good habit to check their websites for environmental credentials and eco-friendly practices.
These can be simple things like sourcing products and ingredients locally, using renewable energy, using recycled composites, or having no single-use plastic products. Accommodation booking sites like Trip.com are also jumping on the sustainability bandwagon, where users can offset their CO2 emissions during checkout using digital tools such as Picking out.
Use the power of the “Do Not Disturb” sign
Often, hotels consume gallons of water and energy due to unnecessary washing of sheets and other fabrics.
By hanging the Do Not Disturb sign on your door, you can reduce your carbon footprint and reuse your linens and towels, while saving energy when it comes to vacuuming and cleaning. It works great for short trips that don’t require frequent turndown services.
Choose local and seasonal
Most of our travel dollars end up being pocketed by large foreign conglomerates. To support the local community and culture a bit, try to break away from fast and unsustainable travel practices.
This support can take different forms, such as eating at restaurants that follow farm-to-table practices and use seasonal ingredients, buying products created by local artisans, choosing a family stay instead of a chain hotel and participate in sustainable activities like fishing and hiking with local guides.
Eliminate single-use plastics
Accomplice of our nomadic way of life, single-use plastic has become more of an obstacle than a solution when it comes to eco-responsible travel. A good habit would be to travel with your own cutlery and refillable water bottles and cups (useful for coffee and reducing the use of plastic and paper cups).
There are plenty of companies offering foldable variants that make the perfect travel essential. It is also good to bring your own toiletries in refillable bottles to avoid using the plastic ones provided in hotels.
Also, invest in a good all-purpose travel plug. Reusable and applicable worldwide, you will save a lot on plastic and dollar bills, compared to buying a new one every time you travel.
Your skin care matters too
Although good for your skin, it’s not common knowledge that many sunscreens contain a common chemical called oxybenzone that can damage coral reefs in oceans with sea anemones and corals. Although we do not recommend using the skin-commando, we recommend using the correct one.
When shopping for your sunscreen, watch out for this chemical and instead opt for reef-safe options that contain natural products and raw elements. Brands like Supergoop! offer new formulas that are safe for reefs and also offer a good amount of SPF.
Be frugal with your clothes
Trust us, no one understands the excitement of buying new clothes for a trip better. Yet the clothes we buy for a trip often end up sitting on our closet shelves afterwards without any proper occasion to wear them.
The best way to do this is to create a capsule wardrobe with lots of basics that can be combined to create different outfits. If you just have to shop, try thrift and second-hand shopping instead (check out our article on the best Instagram thrift stores in Singapore).
This also applies to winter clothing, if you live around the equator where year-round summer is a thing. Otherwise, invest in one or two quality pieces, which will last for years.
Leave no trace
The best advice we can offer you is to leave somewhere better off than when you arrived. Donate to sustainable efforts, opt for beach cleanups, and offer your support to hotels dealing with wildlife protection and nursery programs.
We know bubble baths can be tempting, but opt for shorter showers instead and save energy by turning off outlets and switches when not in use. After all, sometimes a drop in the ocean can cause a ripple reaction.
Have a good trip!
This article was first published in City Nomads.