The world was on pause last year as Covid restrictions forced more people to stay home. Since roads and highways were less congested during lockdowns, there was a record decline in daily carbon emissions. However, now that the planet is moving again, scientists warn that climate change is still progressing and may worsen as the economy recovers.
You may be thinking what can you do about it? Well, there’s no better time than the present to evaluate our choices to improve the environment. Stick to our list of these simple and inexpensive ways to travel sustainably and you can make a difference!
What does sustainable travel mean?
Sustainable travel is a type of responsible tourism that considers the social, economic, and environmental impact on vulnerable destinations. Individuals can make small changes to reduce their carbon footprint and the negative effects of traveling on the planet as a whole.
Learning how to travel sustainably is important to preserve the natural resources, cultures, heritages, and community well-being for generations to come. It’s about thinking of the bigger picture by making positive changes now.
What does sustainable travel look like?
1. Prepare a sustainable travel kit
More than 3% of plastic waste ends up in our oceans and contributes to the world’s microplastic problem. To replace single-use plastic, you can use reusable utensils and straws, biodegradable toiletries like soaps and shampoos, bamboo toothbrushes, silicone menstrual cups, and stainless steel water bottles.
2. Reduce energy and water use
Before you leave your accommodations to explore, remember to turn off the lights, electronics, and air conditioning or heat. Plus, take shorter showers to conserve water. Remember, someone else is footing the bill for all that extra energy.
3. Support the local community and cultural events
What better way to familiarize yourself with a town than to immerse yourself in the culture and mingle with the locals. To help generate income and encourage interest in traditions, try to shop and eat locally, hire a tour guide, attend heritage festivals, and book some cooking classes.
4. Check out national parks and wildlife tours
Contribute to preserving environmentally protected areas and conservation efforts by visiting national parks and taking wildlife tours. Before you book, be sure to do your research to check if these sites have ethical practices and treat animals humanely.
5. Choose greener transport
Transportation produces the largest percentage of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. An effective way to minimize your carbon emissions while you’re traveling is by choosing an eco-friendly form of transportation. Try to walk or bike more, take the bus or trolley, and choose a smaller rental car over an SUV.
6. Use reef-friendly sun protection
Did you know that while you’re exploring those blue waters, the ingredients in your sunblock may be harmful to marine animals and coral reefs? Research is ongoing but so far, there are 2 ingredients in sunscreen that are hazardous to ocean life: oxybenzone and octinoxate. Look for sunblocks without these ingredients or that are labeled as “reef-safe” or “reef-friendly”.
7. Invest in high-quality and eco-friendly luggage
If you’re a travel buff or a newbie, you should invest in durable and green luggage bags. By choosing a long-lasting travel bag, you can reduce waste while you’re adventuring. You know we had to put this one in here.
If you want to take sustainable travel to the next level, you can find eco-friendly accommodations or greener flights. Although these options are pricier, they decrease carbon emissions, energy use, plastic waste, and fuel.
We at Solgaard love the planet and that’s why our mission is to reduce ocean plastic in half by the year 2025. For every item sold, 229 plastic bottles are removed from entering the ocean and are upcycled into our adventure gear. To learn how to go greener with Solgaard, check our mission!