Traveling with the greater good of our planet in mind can sometimes be difficult, but if every traveler had the same mindset (and implemented these travel tips) our collective impact could be unbelievable! Remember, we are guests on this planet we call Earth and it is our duty to protect it to the best of our ability. With that said, we put together a list of 10 impactful ways to decrease your carbon footprint while traveling across the world!
Book non-stop flights
If you aren’t able to take a train, boat or bus, you may be stuck flying to your destination. Don’t you worry, though! Booking a non-stop flight is one way to lessen your carbon footprint and have a clean(er) impact on the environment compared to connecting flights.
Take a S’Well bottle!
Photo Via: @axelandash
Being sustainable while traveling can be as easy as packing a BPA-free refillable water bottle. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins that are melted to make cheap water bottles and containers - awful for the environment. Consider packing a refillable bottle such as a S’Well Bottle to maximize your sustainability (and style). S’Well Bottles keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, while giving back to those in need. Now that’s something the #EveCommunity can get behind!
Volunteer while traveling
The hardest part of volunteering abroad is finding the perfect fit in terms of your location, desires, and level of impact. An amazing NGO called Volunteer Forever takes the guesswork and headache out of finding a great volunteer program because it shouldn’t be hard to help. Their 3 step program allows you to pick a program, plan and fundraise for your involvement, and share your experience. You first search by location, then decide how you can have the best impact as a volunteer by choosing from various project types such as medical, education, conservation, career oriented, or community assistance. If you’d like to learn more about Volunteer Forever, here is how it works.
Stay in an Eco-Lodge
An eco-lodge is one of the most sustainable accommodations (other than camping) a traveler can choose to remain eco-friendly. Eco lodges emphasize elements of environmental responsibility through renewable energy sources, recycling services, eco-friendly toiletries, energy-efficient lighting, organic linens and towels, non-toxic cleaning supplies and most importantly water conservation methods.
Cook if you have a kitchen!
If you are staying at a hostel or hotel with a kitchen, cook homemade meals from locally sourced food. This not only helps the surrounding economy and community but reduces your overall consumption impact by a large multiple. As many countries rely heavily on travel as an important pillar for their economic GDP, it is important for guests to give back as much as they can. A great way contribute as a tourist is by shopping at the local food markets and buying as much as possible locally - not to mention this is a great way to learn about the culture and community.
Donate unused items
Those of you that have backpacked or traveled for an extensive time know that many of the things you bring you may end up not needing. If this is the case, you can donate your extra clothing and accessories to the less-fortunate or find a local non-profit to help out.
Buy carbon offset
One of the most impactful decisions you can make while traveling is to pay for carbon offset - a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gasses made in order to compensate for or offset an emission made elsewhere. In other words, you can mitigate the environmental footprint of your travel by paying a carbon offset fee to replace the emission you caused during your flight. This is done through NGOs such as the David Suzuki Foundation
Travel during the off-season
This may be obvious, but traveling when there is a smaller demand for flights is not only cheaper but more economical. The off-season provides a more authentic experience for the traveler, as they can absorb the true culture of the destination by genuinely experiencing how locals go about their daily lives. Oh, and there are smaller crowds and more wiggle room financially.
Keep an open mind - interact with the locals :)
The most valuable element of travel is the people you meet along the way, and by keeping an open mind and saying “heck yes!” to new experiences you will have a purely authentic trip.
(Obviously) Pack light with sustainable Eve Cork bag!
[Insert shameless plug here…] No, but seriously though. Packing a lightweight Preston Duffle for your travels is a great start your sustainable eco-friendly trip! Our premium cork fabric embodies a timeless approach to fashion, with sustainability and the greater good of our planet in mind. The cork fabric makes our bags soft, lightweight, and as durable as traditional leather while being waterproof and antibacterial. Need we say more? Well… we should also mention every Eve Cork product is PETA Vegan Approved as well.
Whether you’re jet-setting across the world or planning a road trip, the Preston is spacious enough to stow all of our everyday essentials, while small enough to be the perfect carry-on companion.