We continuously travel more and more. Each moment well above 500 000 people of this planet are in the sky! The trend for tourism is increasing, at the same time our environmental resources are becoming seriously deteriorated and reduced. There are ways to reduce the negative impacts of travel, and ways of introducing positive impacts. It's a matter of becoming aware and make better choices ♥♥♥.
Here follows some advices on how you quite easily can contribute to a greener travel. What will you chose do?!
✓ Air flights are responsible for 4% of the global warming effect each year due to greenhouse gas emissions. This may not appear that much but consider that only 2-3% of the world’s population travel by air!
What you can do:
- Choose to travel by train or bus to destinations where it is possible (it can reduce emissions by more than 60%)
- Choose to make a shorter distance trip as opposed to a long one
- Choose to make fewer trips each year and stay away longer time as opposed to several shorter stays
- Choose the flight with the least amount of stopovers
- Choose an airline that has a green profile & modern aircrafts. Your choice really matters, a certain airline can have a fuel consumption per passenger and km that is 100% more than that of another! Airlines that accomplish a high to medium efficiency class (A-C) can be found here.
- Your personal contribution to greenhouse gas emissions depend on your everyday lifestyle. If you love to travel by air and want to enjoy it now and then, then you can reduce your emssions from other activities. For example by using public transport (instead of car) and by eating more vegetarian food (and less meat). A year of car use emits a similar level of carbon dioxide as one return trip between Europe and New York.
✓ It is still allowed to dump human waste from cruise ship toilets directly in to the ocean! Cruise ships cause pollution of ocean water as well as air, and emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.
- Choose a cruise ship with high environmental standards. Check the list here!
✓ Choose a hotel with environmental certification such as Earth-check, Green Globle, Green Key, Fair Trade Tourism, or Biosphere Responsible Tourism. To assist finding hotels with certification you may use this site for booking.
✓ Choose a hotel located at a distance from the beach. Coastal zones are important to be kept intact for several reasons including maintaining good seawater quality and biodiversity and protecting inland areas from waves and storm damage.
✓ Choose a hotel without swimming pool / water land if you do not intend to use it. Many tourist destinations experience water scarcity. Water use in tourism can thus cause lack of water for local people and local agricultural activities. A high demand of hotels with swimming pool will increase the demand for more. If you love swimming in pools and that is one of your main objectives with your recreation you may still make an active choice and travel to a destination with less water scarcity.
✓ Choose to visit a country less affected by water scarcity if you intend to play golf during your vacations. A high demand for golf courses in a certain place will increase the demand for more.
✓ Turn the air-conditioning off when you leave the room and only use it when you really need it.
✓ Only have your towels and bed sheets washed when it is needed.
✓ Reduce length of shower and running water in general
✓ Avoid seafood composed of endangered species such as shark, turtle, bluefin tuna, red snapper, black caviar/roe from sturgeons etc. (for more endangered species see the IUCN redlist), or that is produced in a way that is detrimental to the environment such as tiger prawns.
✓ Have in mind that different countries (and regions) are prepared to different levels to sustain tourists (e.g. in terms of drinking water, sewage treatment, dumps). If the precise destination is of less importance to you chose a destination that has a developed system to sustain tourists.
✓ Minimize the amount of disposable material you bring to islands and your consumption of different kinds of wrapping. The areas for disposing waste are usually very limited.
✓ Avoid throwing trash outside of bins.
✓ When you can, support “Community based tourism”, “Eco tourism” and “Fair Trade Tourism” by choosing these options. Be sure it is really these certifications your trip is labeled with and if a similar expression of words is used to promote a product ask what it is that makes the product sustainable/green/fair.
Where trash ends up if not putting it in the bin. Monkey Beach, Thailand. Photo: L.H.Lindell©.
There are a lot more tips to add to this list. Let us know if you have something specific in mind we should add.
Love you and thanks for stopping by ♥