An In-Depth Guide on Sustainable Travel
How to Make Your Next Trip More Eco-Conscious
In recent years, sustainable travel has been gaining popularity. As we have become more aware of the potential risks and dangers associated with unsustainable travelling, such as microplastic pollution or increased carbon emissions. There has been an increased focus on how to do more sustainable travelling and activities to minimise the harm to the environment.
What Is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel can be defined in a variety of different ways:
- Minimising the degree of carbon emissions emitted
- Doing the least amount of harm to the environment while travelling, but also while carrying out activities
- Supporting local culture and communities through donations and spendings via smaller, local businesses.
GreenMatch has created an infographic that illustrates various statistics and facts about sustainable travel, as well as the consequences of unsustainable travel.
Why Sustainable Travel is Paramount For Our Environment
Travels are for the most part associated with carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. While certain methods of transportation are better alternatives than others, it’s worth noting that there is a big difference in travelling by plane as opposed to by car.
Travelling by plane once emits more than 20% of the carbon emissions than a car will emit throughout a year. In 2018, 895 tonnes of CO² due to air travel alone. The same way of travelling by ship emits several tonnes of greenhouse gasses in comparison to a single car. In fact, it takes over 260 million cars to reach the same level of pollution as a few ships alone!
Attitudes Towards Sustainable Travel
There are mixed opinions on sustainable travel. While there is an overall majority that is willing to change their current behaviour to be more sustainable, there are others that are more reluctant to make a change.
People that are actively opting to travel sustainably do things such as booking eco-friendly accommodation, supporting the local community, or engaging in non-polluting activities while on holiday, such as biking or hiking.
A substantial amount is less willing to travel sustainably due to several factors such as finding the sustainable travel destination less appealing, not being able to afford sustainable travelling, and simply not being aware of how to be more eco-friendly.
5 Ways to Engage in Sustainable Travel
There are a number of ways to travel more sustainably. They can be broken down into 5 steps:
1. Be Mindful of the Method of Travel
Travelling with airplanes or ships emit far more greenhouse gasses than cars do. Be mindful of what transportation method is necessary. If planning a domestic trip for instance, then travelling by train, bus, or car would much greener alternatives than travelling by airplane.
2. Be Aware of Damaging the Environment with Holiday Activities
When engaging in social activities such as partying or hiking while abroad, be mindful about leaving the environment as it was before you came. Leaving trash around in the environment can threaten biodiversity such as animals or plant life by coming in contact with something that does not biodegrade for many years.
3. Support Local Communities
Popular destinations such as Ibiza, Bali, and Cancun rely on tourism to boost their economy. However, there is a big difference in whether the money spent on global corporations actually goes back to the local community. Contribute to smaller businesses that share parts of the profit with the society.
4. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle!
We live in a world that currently has an excess amount of plastic that gets discarded after a single usage. Water bottles are extremely common examples of plastic that get wasted and end up in places that they shouldn’t be, such as the ocean. Invest in a reusable water bottle and recycle any material that has a recyclable logo on it.
5. Opt For Eco-Friendly Accommodation
Eco-friendly accommodation means that the accommodation has made environmental changes to its structure so it has the least amount of impact on the environment. Look for Green Key certified accommodation to know which one to book.