Can you practically feel the earth warming each time you board a flight? Most responsible travellers feel some sense of guilt about their carbon emissions surrounding air travel and how it affects their carbon footprint. Luckily there are several measures you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint while you travel.
Keep calm, carry on
The heavier the aircraft, the more fuel it takes to move it from point A to point B. If we travelled with carry-on luggage instead of checking an additional bag, the plane would use less fuel to get to its destination. Not only are you lowering the carbon footprint for the flight, but you’ll also be saving time and energy by avoiding the check-in counter altogether. The simplest way to downsize your luggage is by packing fewer clothes and wearing the bulkiest shoes you’re packing on the flight. Most accommodation offers a laundry or dry-cleaning service or you could hand wash your items mid-way through your trip. This doesn’t require lugging around a bottle of detergent, as soap strips are quite easy to come by or you could simply DIY a batch. Downsizing your tech is another great way to reduce your luggage heft. Most of the functionality of a laptop can be achieved by a smartphone or tablet and your summer reading will easily fit onto an e-reader or Kindle.
How we get around once we get to our destination can be just as impactful as how we get there. If air travel is unavoidable, it’s always best to fly economy and to fly direct. Take a train or bus to close by cities instead of connecting flights, as road travel can cut your carbon damage by up to half of that of air travel. When exploring a new city, opt for public transport instead of private cabs or lift services, you’ll be lowering your ecological footprint and get to see more of the city and mingle with locals. If the option exists, try bicycle tours instead of bus or tram tours or just rent a bicycle to get around and explore.
Be a toss-free tourist
Travel can be thirsty work and we often don’t realise how much water we buy while out sightseeing, bustling through airports, or even during a flight. All of this water comes in plastic bottles that end up on a landfill. A reusable water bottle is a great alternative and certain types can even help keep your drinks cold on a hot, busy day. If you’re concerned about the potability of the drinking water at your destination, consider a bottle with a built-in filter. You can also cut down on your disposables, by taking a travel mug for your morning coffee fix, most good coffee houses will even offer you a discount for using a reusable cup.
Book accommodation with eco-conscious establishments. We have an amazing catalogue of pioneering eco-tourism accommodation <insert links to landings page>, or Landings as we call them. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, be sure to switch off the lights, appliances and air conditioning when not in use, especially when you head out for the day.
Prep and plan
A little bit of planning and forethought can go a long way when it comes to lowering your carbon footprint. Before you leave, switch off appliances at home, especially your geyser or water heater. Not only do you save money on your power bill, but you’ll won’t be wasting while you’re away. This is also a great time to empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer so you can leave those off as well. Instead of two short trips in a year, take one long one. This means more time continuous time off for you to truly unwind and explore and it also means fewer flights. Check your destination's recycling processes - how do they separate waste and make a note of the closest drop-off points to where you’ll be staying.