Sustainability is becoming a bigger concern for a lot of travelers. Here are a few ways that you can make your trips more environmentally friendly and still have a great time.
Consider destinations carefully
Popular vacation spots can be beautiful and transportive, but they can also be a less sustainable choice for travel. Consider what your visit can do to a more popular spot; over-tourism can damage natural environments or put historic landmarks in jeopardy. Check out destinations that are closer to home first, as traveling a shorter distance is a more sustainable choice. You may discover a hidden gem in your own backyard!
Leave it better than you found it
Desperate to hit that major tourist spot? We understand! Before you plan out your trip, check out the Chamber of Commerce or equivalent of your desired destination: you can get insight into how tourism is impacting the local environment, as well as what local governing bodies would really like from visitors. Some cities may request that tourists only visit certain high-volume destinations at certain times, or even ask tourists to consider visiting at a different time of year when it’s less busy. You can also see if there are any community service events, like a clean-up day, that you can participate in while you’re there. Thoughtful choices like these can ensure that these spots will be accessible and enjoyed for many years to come!
Swap your transportation style
Did you know that flights that travel shorter distances can emit more carbon than driving that same distance? Consider flight alternatives before deciding on the friendly skies. Trains are the most energy efficient method of travel, and yes— driving may be the most sustainable choice for you depending on your destination. Once you’re there, park the car! Did you know that just circling blocks looking for a parking spot can account for as much as 30% of total vehicle miles in some areas of the country? Do your part and prioritize other forms of transit on vacation, like walking or public transportation, or invest in bikes, to cut down on congestion and carbon emissions!
Consider a carpool
Traveling with friends or family? Carpooling is still a sure way to save on gas, emit less carbon dioxide, and have more fun with your fellow passengers. Invest in a car top carrier or a cargo rack for your larger items like coolers, surfboards, bicycles, and more. Don’t forget to take the scenic route for a more enjoyable drive (and show off your latest playlist), plus you’ll use less fuel! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, reducing your speed by just 10 mph can improve fuel economy up to 14%.