Of the many factors contributing to the climate crisis, air travel is relatively low on the list. And of air travel, most of the impact is owing to frequent work flights rather than leisurely vacations. That said, any time there’s an opportunity to do what you can – to tweak your choices just a little in service of easing your carbon footprint – you should take it.
It doesn’t have to be difficult, nor does it have to alter your dream travel plans all that much. Just a little forethought, a little care and the right travel deals through Travelzoo and you’re all set to live large and reduce your footprint. Here are five simple ways to do it!
Consider the Distance, Nature and Impact of Your Flight
There are three ways you can go about reducing your flight’s carbon footprint. The first, perhaps most obvious, way is to choose a flight nearer to you. Rather than head to Asia this year, for instance, explore a nearby state or province.
If you are flying a little further, the second way to mitigate your flight’s footprint is to choose coach over first class. First class seats take up more room on the plane and are therefore responsible for a larger impact. The third way – the way many long-distance vacationers prefer – is to purchase carbon offsets. These offsets, calculated according to the distance you’re flying, use your small donation to plant trees and invest in green infrastructure.
Search for Eco-Friendly Accommodation
When you book your next adventure through Travelzoo, look for one of the many Eco options. Eco hotels, resorts and lodges take it upon themselves to remain environmentally responsible in various ways. They often use non-toxic, natural cleaning supplies, energy- and water-efficient fixtures, organic toiletries and recycled paper. Some are even completely run using renewable energy!
Pack a Collapsible Water Bottle, Containers
Rather than buy bottled water while travelling, a practice that leads to a lot of unnecessary waste, simply pack a water bottle. Collapsible water bottles are fantastic for this purpose because they fit down to a slim disc in your suitcase, but in truth any water bottle will do. To go the extra mile, you can also pack collapsible containers, for takeaway meals, bulk items and deli meals.
Train, Bus, Bike or Walk Between Destinations
Finally, once at your destination, consider how you get around. If moving between cities or countries, opt for the train instead of a rental car. If you need to get across a city, take the bus instead of a single-occupant taxi. And if you don’t have far to go, if able, walk or bike. Not only do you reduce your carbon footprint this way, but it also allows you to see a different side of your destination!
While it’s important to note that a vastly inordinate amount of carbon emissions are industrial – requiring big, systemic changes to improve – consumers can, and should, still do their part. For travellers, that can be as simple as mindfully choosing how/where they fly and stay, as well as watching their footprint abroad.