As I’m currently traveling through Italy, I’ve been contemplating on how to consistently travel more sustainably.
While many might say the most sustainable thing to do is not to travel at all or at least not far, I don’t believe that’s the solution. The world is too beautiful not to see it. It’s so enriching to see the world and experience different cultures, that I would never want to miss this.
I personally love to travel and I even work in the luxury travel industry. And while over-tourism is a problem, there are a lot of places in the world where people depend on tourism, many thrive on it. I am therefore pro traveling.
So what can we do to travel in a more sustainable way? Here are a few simple things to consider to start with. With everything in life, what counts is that you start making more conscious choices. So here’s a list for everyone who wants to start traveling more sustainably.
Choose Your Transport Options Consciously
- Try to choose the most environmentally conscious transportation available. For short distances use trains instead of cars or planes.
- Need to rent a car? Try an eco-friendly alternative like Green Motion car rental.
- Bikes are amazing options to discover a city or beach town.
- When traveling by sea, go sailing or use an electric boat instead of a motorboat.
- When flying long distances, try using direct flights and airlines that are keen to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Use a CO2 reduction program like Atmosfair to compensate for your flight emissions
Travel More Sustainably by Making the Right Hotel Choices:
- Stay at local hotel brands if possible or brands that are certified green hotels e.g. with Green Globe, Green Key, Earthcheck
- Chose a hotel that’s committed to reducing or better to eliminating plastic use. Some good sites to find hotels are: rethink.travel, Green Pearls or my own site Select Green Hotels
- Chose hotels and resorts that give back to their local communities
- If you’re into water sports, dedicate one day to marine life protection: Join a beach clean-up like 4Ocean, Ozeankind, or OceanConservancy
Eat at Local Restaurants:
- Never, really never eat fast food. Apart from not being very nutritious, the produce is usually sourced from mass farming and shipped across the world. Thus causing unnecessary CO2 emissions and packaging waste.
- Talk to the people at the restaurants. They usually tell you where they source their food
- Eat local cuisine, as this ensures that food is sourced locally. Depending on where you travel it is usually the safest bet to avoid getting sick.
Packing Sustainably for your Trip:
- Pack organic sunscreen that’s reef-safe so it doesn’t kill corals ore releases microplastics into the sea. For more info see my post on that.
- Don’t use the plastic amenities at hotels. The shampoo is usually not so good anyways and it produces so much unnecessary plastic waste. Moreover, most of the time the containers are not emptied completely so in addition to plastic, hotels throw away tons of unused products. Rather fill your own products in travel-size bottles. I’ve just saved small empty glass containers for when I travel.
- Pack sustainable swimwear made of Econyl. Here are a few pretty options