- Roughly 6.1 million tonnes of waste were created by air travel in 2018 alone, which weighs just about as much as 17 Empire State Buildings!
- Traveling has major effects on the environment, society, culture, and local economies
- Changing travel behavior, like avoiding flying when possible, using sustainable travel agencies, making eco-friendly flying choices, and booking green hotels and Airbnb’s are just a few ways to incorporate sustainability into your vacation
- Free PDF Guide to Sustainable Air Travel
We all want to see the world, but 2.1% of all human-induced carbon emissions come from air travel. This isn’t ideal for those wishing to make more sustainable decisions, so how can we still be avid globetrotters while having a clear environmental conscience? Fortunately, there are plenty of steps we can take through tips, booking websites, and travel agencies that can make sustainable travel a part of our future. From choosing more sustainable destinations to reducing your waste once you arrive, there are plenty of ways to incorporate sustainable practices into your vacation!
1. Stay Close to Home
Of course, the most sustainable trip you can make would be close to home with no flying required. You may be surprised just how much there is to explore around your home, and staycations are a great way to get more familiar with all that your city or town has to offer. If you can’t quite shake off that travel bug, however, try to find a destination that shows commitment to protecting natural resources, people, and heritage.
2. Use a Sustainable Travel Agency
Using a sustainable travel agency like Lokal is a great way to ensure your adventures are considerate of local people and the environment. You can work with these companies to find the right destination for you where you can support local economies and businesses, explore nature without disturbing the environment, and respectfully experience local culture when traveling.
3. Eco-friendly Flights
In terms of finding the best airlines and flights for your eco-friendly choices, we have created an infographic that shares important sustainability statistics and information to consider while flying. There is a lot that goes into getting you from point A to B, so understanding the amount of emissions, waste, and energy that is produced gives you some good insight into the sustainability costs of travel.
For a more in-depth version of this guide, check out this PDF.
4. Book Green
Another great way to reduce our traveling carbon footprint is to ensure you are aware of how much your hotel or Airbnb contributes to carbon emissions and waste. Book Different is just one of the many websites that search for the eco-certified hotels that are rated on their “Staygreen” score. Each score is measured based on Book Different’s four pillars of sustainability: management, fair & local, culturally friendly, and nature & environment. You can see reviews, average carbon emissions, and prices straight from their website, so there is no hassle when finding the right hotel for your journey. Airbnb is also encouraging its hosts to make more eco-friendly decisions through “The Green Tips”. With tips like promoting alternative forms of transportation, providing reusable water bottles, asking guests to turn off and unplug appliances when they are not in use and many more, hosts can ensure they are greening up their homes and the local community.
Using the resources above will surely give you a leg up on your eco-friendly journey, but don’t forget the important rules of smart and sustainable tourism: Be respectful of different cultures, contribute to the local economy, and be mindful of how your decisions affect the environment. Continue with the usual sustainable decisions you make at home like being aware of the waste and recycling systems, buying locally-sourced food and souvenirs, and using public transportation, walking, or cycling to places you visit. For additional tips on how to be a sustainable tourist once you arrive at your destination, check out the Sustainable Tourism website. Safe travels!