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5 tips for eco-friendly travel

Who doesn’t love travel? Unfortunately, the environmental footprint of your adventures can stack up if you are not careful. Thankfully, this does not mean that you can’t enjoy a trip without ruining the environment! If you keep a few eco-friendly travel tips in mind, your impact can reduce substantially, and you can keep enjoying seeing new places without worrying that the environment is paying the price.

1.  Choose local destinations

The number one thing to keep in mind when you’re planning your tips is how far you’ll be travelling – every mile count and adds to your carbon footprint. Because of this, local vacations can be one of the best eco-friendly choices that reduce your carbon footprint by a whole lot. Check out the interesting places around where you live first before you consider exotic destinations on the other side of the globe.

2.  Pick the cheap flight

If you are flying to your destination, pick a budget airline if you have that option and always choose economy class. Budget airlines use the most fuel-effective aircrafts as that is the cheapest option for them – and it also happens to be the most sustainable option, as less fuel is consumed – ideal for eco-friendly travel. These airlines also maximise the space on their aircraft, lowering the carbon footprint of each passenger substantially.

3.  Pack lightly

When you’re packing for your trip, every pound counts. This is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint, as every extra item in your suitcase increases it. It’s best if you can pack everything in a carry-on suitcase. Consider what you will really need once you arrive at your destination, keeping in mind the local climate and current weather forecast. Don’t overpack out of fear that you’ll have nothing to wear, in a worst-case scenario, you can always layer the pieces you brought with you or give them a quick wash.

4.  Buy consciously

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you might be tempted by souvenir stands or a variety of shops selling memorabilia or artwork. Before you buy any of these, think twice – is this something I will get a lot of joy out of, or will it just sit at the bottom of my junk drawer to be thrown away a year later. It’s important to be honest with yourself because every purchase has some impact on the environment and if it does not serve a purpose or make you happy, it will inevitably end up in the landfill.  

5.  Support local businesses

When shopping or eating out, choose local alternatives over multinational chains. Don’t go to a McDonald’s, if you could try the local cuisine! Local businesses have a much lower carbon footprint, as they usually don’t transport their goods across the globe. This will also help the local economy of your travel destination flourish – a great choice when considering the ethical impact of your actions.

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