As summer rolls around, millions of people across the globe will be embarking on vacations. While traveling certainly leaves a huge impact on the environment, there are things all travelers can do to minimize their carbon footprint. The problem is that they may not be aware of what exactly those things are. Luckily, there’s a vast amount of information online as well as various projects and apps that aim to help people enjoy their vacations and take care of the environment all at once.
As far as things you can do while preparing for a journey, you can start by finding transportation with the least environmental impact. For example, for short haul journeys, it’s almost always best to take a bus or a train instead of a plane or a personal car. But if you’re going long distance and have to fly, many airlines and organizations allow you to offset your calculated transportation footprint by donating to reforestation efforts, among other projects. Other suggestions include packing reusable bottles and grocery bags, as well as packing lightly to use less fuel in whichever travel method you choose.
There are plenty of tour companies, such as Intrepid Travel and Osa Wild, that focus on environmentally friendly travel as well as minimizing waste in their own offices. Many hotels across the globe, such as Alila Hotels & Resorts in Indonesia, Cayuga Collection in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and others, find different ways to reduce the carbon footprints of their guests and themselves through measures such as biofuel use and implementing waste-free solutions. But you don’t have to limit yourself to these particular lodgings. You can do a bit of research and look for designations such as the EPA’s Energy Star, TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders, and LEED certification to get an idea about what the places you’re staying at are doing about the environment—but make sure to read the fine print.