Do you want to see the world? If so, there's nothing wrong with that: You just have to find a way to do it without hurting the environment. Unfortunately, traveling can produce a lot of carbon emissions: That's why it's so important to plan out a trip with the earth in mind. Here are a few tips to help make sure your next trip is an eco-friendly one.
Choose an appropriate destination
Sadly, many forms of transport contribute to climate change. That means the farther you go, the more likely you are to produce more emissions. To reduce the emissions you create, choose a destination closer to home. It's also better if you can avoid taking a plane altogether, as planes are one of the top polluters in transportation. Wherever you end up going, see if there are any eco-tours offered. Also, there are several eco-friendly places to visit inside your own country, so be sure to look there before looking outside of it. For example, in the USA, we have several green hot spots to visit like Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, and Central Park.
Select environmentally friendly transport
As mentioned before, if you can avoid planes at all costs, do so. Driving or taking the train are much preferred forms of transportation opposed to flying. Make sure you carpool if you do decide to drive your car to a destination (3 to 4 people in the car with you). If you must fly, try to avoid short haul (< 500 km) flights. Choose airlines with higher occupancy rates and more efficient aircrafts. Once you actually get to your destination, do your best to walk or bike to places you want to see, or take public transportation.
Find a sustainable place to stay
The hotel you stay in matters too: Make sure it's a green one with eco-friendly ethics in mind. Look for hotels and lodgings that have effective waste treatment systems, recycling, and energy efficiency. Better yet, stay in hotels that serve locally grown, organic food and use renewable energy, such as solar, wind or hydroelectric power. These things matter and add up, especially if you plan on staying there a while!
Be a respectful guest
While you're on vacation, it's also your job to make sure you stay eco-friendly too. In this case, that means being respectful to the local environment. Make sure to stay on trails and public footpaths. Do not remove plants or feed animals, and of course, never litter. Do your part to recycle, but make sure you reduce your waste as much as possible. Try to avoid disposables and take a reusable water bottle, napkin, and cutlery with you everywhere. Another thing you can do is conserve water: Take short quick showers, reuse hotel towels and bed linen, and reduce hot water usage. Last but not least, make sure you turn off all lights when you leave the room, and limit air-conditioning.
Come home smart
While coming home, make sure you use eco-friendly transportation again (carpooling or a train). Also, be sure to watch what you buy for a souvenir! Be sure you don't buy any products made from any endangered species, including animal hides and body parts. Some examples of this are tortoise shells, ivory, or coral – they could be illegal. Also, if you do decide to buy a souvenir, make sure it's something you'll use over and over again, or keep for a long time. Think long term, not short term!
Written by our eco friendly guest contributor Ariana Palmieri
Ariana Palmieri is a green beauty blogger who strives to live as eco-friendly as possible. In July 2015 she started her blog, Greenify-Me, to document her own journey with eco-friendly products, makeup, and the environment. The site features beauty product reviews, natural DIYs, healthy recipes, and more.