10 Greenest Ways of Traveling

From plastic waste to carbon emissions, travel isn’t the most environmentally friendly activity. However, the benefits of venturing far from home to experience other cultures are priceless. Many millennials see travel as necessary. Fortunately, there are ways you can make your trips more eco-friendly!

1. BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything)

Coffee cups, water bottles, utensils, take-out containers, napkins, and so much more can be brought in your personal item and used throughout your trip. By replacing single-use items with reusable ones, you drastically cut down on the waste you produce while traveling. Also, be sure to bring a reusable grocery bag with you if you plan to hit the markets.

plastic bag alternative


2. Travel to Eco-Friendly Locations

Some countries are more environmentally-friendly than others. Traveling to eco-friendly destinations like Spain helps you spare the planet while experiencing another culture. The country’s natural beauty is living proof of its people’s dedication to green living. You can take in the beauty of Spain while being green at your holiday home at https://www.interhome.co.uk/spain/mallorca/. Countries like India, Pakistan, and Moldova don’t rank as high on the eco-friendly scale.

3. Take the Train

When you are traveling from country to country, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by taking a train instead of an airplane. Europe has an efficient railway system that makes intercontinental travel a breeze. Why fly from country to country when you can experience the countryside on a relaxing train ride? You will see more of the area and help the planet!

ecofriendly mode of travel

4. Eat and Drink Local

Importing and shipping foods make a huge carbon footprint on our planet. When you are traveling, you can reduce your environmental impact by chowing down on local delights. Coastal areas offer fresh-caught fish; other areas boast fresh produce. If you want to taste some local dishes, opt for local restaurants rather than big chains.

Let’s take Danville city in Georgia, for example. While tourists may opt for familiar places to eat, we recommend checking out the local diner called Me’s Burgers and Brews; it’s easily one of the best restaurants in Danville. It’s a family-owned joint that serves gourmet burgers and craft beer, and they source local products from Melrose Bison Farm and the Windmill Farm Bake Shop. This means they provide fresh ingredients while lessening the waste from packaging and logistics as well. So no matter where you go, be sure to fill up on foods that are native to the region.


5. Take Direct Routes When Flying

Here is your excuse to avoid layovers. You can’t avoid flying, but you can cut your greenhouse gas emissions significantly by only taking flights that go directly to your destination. Planes emit the most harmful gas and use the most fuel when they are taking off, so you make your trips a little more eco-friendly when you reduce the number of takeoffs. Also, fly with budget airlines. They usually fill more seats per flight than their expensive counterparts, saving the environment and your wallet.

6. Take the Bus

Taking an Uber everywhere isn’t the most efficient way to get around. One of the best ways to get around locally is to use public transportation. Taking the bus or subway is a great way to meet the locals and get from place to place. The metro produces 76% fewer gas emissions than cars. Some cities even use electric buses that reduce smog and cut back on natural gas usage.

7. Don’t Go Off the Beaten Path

When you are hiking, don’t stray from the marked trails that are designated for hikers. Leaving the trail is risky, and you might accidentally stomp on fragile plants or animal homes. Avoid unfortunate encounters with powerful animals and keep the wildlife around you safe by only hiking on the set path.


8. Take Tours That Give Back

Plan your tours with organizations that contribute to the community in some way. Local tours often donate part of their proceeds to great causes. If you can take a few tours that teach you about the local environment while helping it out, that’s a win-win. When you take tours, be sure to ask about the size of the tour group. Small groups harm the environment less than large ones, and tours with fewer people give you a more intimate experience and a chance to ask questions.

9. Go Electric

If you need to rent a car for your trip, consider renting an electric-powered car. It usually does more harm than good to replace your car at home with an electric one if it is still in good condition, but why not spare the environment some stress by driving an ecofriendly car on your vacation?


10. Treat Your Holiday Home Like a Home

You wouldn’t wash a towel after one use or leave the lights on when you leave your home; could you imagine the laundry and the electric bill? When you are traveling, it’s important to maintain your at-home eco-friendly practices. Always hang your towels back up so that housekeeping doesn’t wash them, turn off lights when you leave a room, and don’t spend an eternity in the shower!

Whether you reduce your environmental impact by bringing your own food containers or cutting out layovers, anything you do helps. Together, we can significantly reduce the environmental footprint we make when traveling while still being able to experience the big, wonderful world.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com

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