25 Jun How to be a green traveller - 7 tips for travelling more sustainably
Guest blog written by Ruby Clarkson.
Getting to travel to different countries can be exciting. You get to experience different cultures and meet people from all walks of life. However, travelling is not all about fun, you also need to be responsible. It's important to protect the environment as much as possible while you are travelling.
In accordance with the world's effort to address issues like plastic pollution and climate change, cities are being improved to become more sustainable. But, there is still a long way to go. EPC For You state that ‘There are places all around the world where air pollution and smog are a real problem,’ and that ‘the human factor always plays a part.’
If cities are changing then people also need to change and live more sustainably. This includes embracing green travel. After all, sustainability does not just apply in one place; it's important throughout the world. So, what can you do to make your travel habits greener?
1. Make sure your home is energy efficient while you are away
Greener travel is not just about what you do while you were on the road, it's also about what you have left behind. You need to make sure that you do everything you can to ensure that your home is energy efficient while you are not there. This includes:
- Making sure that all of the lights are turned off.
- Unplugging electrical devices instead of leaving them on standby.
- Adjusting the temperature downwards on your thermostat.
These are simple things that can make a big difference.
2. Think carefully about your mode of transport
As you may be aware, there are certain modes of transport that are the least environmentally friendly choice. Travelling by air falls into this category. If at all possible it's best to take a train or boat to your destination.
When you arrive at your destination, it's best if you can walk when you go sightseeing. This is not just better for the environment it also means you get to see more along the way. If walking is not an option, because of the distance, you should stick to using public transport as much as possible.
3. Know the carbon footprint of flights you have to take
There may be times when the only option is to fly. If this is the case it's usually better to fly nonstop as takeoffs and landings create the most carbon emissions. It's also a good idea to calculate the carbon footprint of your flights online so that you can choose the least damaging option.
4. Use a refillable drinking bottle when you can
It's no secret that plastic is causing huge damage to the planet. This is why it's important to not buy bottled water while you are travelling, if you can avoid doing so. Use a refillable drinking bottle when you can. If you are travelling to a country where there are problems with the water you need to follow the advice that the NHS provides. This may involve having to buy bottled water but you should always try to find filtered water instead, and use it to fill your reusable drinking bottle.
5. Eat in restaurants which use local produce
Locally sourced produce is always the best option when it comes to protecting the environment. This is because the importation of food creates a large carbon footprint. When you are traveling, look for restaurants which are known to use produce from the local area.
It's also important that you know exactly what you are eating and that you never eat a dish that contains a protected species. You always need to be careful what you buy to eat in the same way as you need to be careful about what goods you buy in shops.
6. Preserve water as much as possible
It's important to preserve water no matter where you are travelling to. In some areas it's even more vital. It's not difficult to save water while you are travelling. Make sure that you take only short showers each day. You should also make sure that you take advantage of a hotel's option to reuse towel.
7. Help preserve World Heritage Sites
One of the reasons for travelling is to explore the cultural landmarks that represents the history of that country. Give back to these natural treasures by either donating or even volunteering in a UNESCO World Heritage Centre Scheme, which allows you to work in groups and look after the landscape or site while you’re on holiday. There are many different schemes you can do, all varying depending on the country and the project, but they all offer life-changing experiences that you’ll never forget.
By supporting World Heritage Sites, you can help ensure that these landmarks remain for generations to come, reminding visitors and citizens of how beautiful the natural world is, and the importance of saving it.
The more people that travel around the world, the more important being a green traveller becomes. Think about it this way; you get to enjoy exploring the world while you are travelling so why should you not be responsible for helping to protect it? Being a green traveller does not take much effort, and it helps to protect the world for future generations to enjoy.
Ruby Clarkson is a freelance writer who is passionate about our planet and the animals that we share it with. When she is not writing, she is either out in the garden or wrapped up in a blanket with a good book. Accompanied by a bar of chocolate of course.