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SOURCE: Lars Leetaru, NY Times

IATAestimates that over 4.3 billion passengers flew on an airplane in 2017, with the average traveler flying at least once every 22 months.

With the demand for flights increasing annually, the environmental impact of air travel is significant. Some estimates show that the carbon impact of travel is over 3 times higher than expected.

Here are some steps you can take to become a more ‘sustainable traveler’:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency aircrafts account for 12% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Using rail is a better alternative if available.
  • Avoiding multiple layovers and shorter flights are options to minimize your impact by reducing pollution per passenger mile. Fly direct as much as possible.
  • Using local public transport is an easy way for you to reduce your impact personally!
  • Consider using a bike rental to explore a new city.

Although air travel as we know it today has not been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the prospects for a future of sustainable travel look promising. With fuel efficient planes on the horizon, the potential for low-carbon biofuels to replace up to 30% of jet fuel could lower the carbon intensity to about one third of what it was in 2016.

“Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. It does” – William James

Read more tips on being a sustainable traveler here.  

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

A sustainable trip starts at home. When preparing for your next trip, keep these basic travel tips in mind.

 

Flying

Pay attention to your carbon footprint when booking your flight. Some airlines emit more carbon dioxide than others. It’s possible for you to pay a little more to ‘offset’ the carbon dioxide or simply select the trip with the shortest flight time. The less time spent in the air improves your personal contribution to a cleaner environment.  

 

Pack light

Only pack the essentials. Do you really need that extra pair of shoes? More weight means more carbon emissions – and possible excess baggage charges that hit you where it really hurts.

 

Travel closer to home

Remember that there are places closer to home that are just as beautiful and interesting. Staying local benefits your local community and environment. Travelling by train or bus instead of a plane means you are emitting up to 50 percent less carbon dioxide in some cases.

 

Accommodation

Check for evidence of sustainability or eco-certification when making your reservation(s). When hotels or resorts have a proven track record in terms of environmental care and eco-management they will likely promote these features to catch your eye.

Here is a link to help you find some green hotels.

 

Products

Take your own toiletries and avoid using the in-room shampoos and shower gels provided in miniature plastic containers.

Some sunscreens may be harmful to people and the planet.

 

EQ offers organic lifestyle products including sunscreen that are respectful to marine life.

 

Smart Girls Who Surf  offers a line of sunscreen products for body, face and lips. Take your own reusable products, such as bags, tumblers and even chopsticks.

 

Read more about being a responsible traveller in the PATA s Responsible Business Travel Guidelines.

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Ecotourism and Responsible Travel: Useful Tips From Expert Travel Bloggers

 

Once they invited Mother Teresa to take part in a street protest against poverty and she refused it kindly. The reason? She explained she would never fight AGAINST something, but rather always FOR something.

You might ask, how does that relate to ecotourism and responsible travel? Ivana Greslikova Read more.