More and more, people are thinking about how to travel green. Many people are convinced that cutting down on air travel is a good thing – and I’m one of them. In fact, I recently wrote a post here at Indie Travel Podcast on the added benefits of eco travel, and why we should cut down on our air travel. But there are other things that we can reduce our carbon footprint while out on the road – and they are all things that we can do easily, without altering our style of travel much at all.
Travelling light has many benefits. You have less to cart about with you as you travel, there are no excess luggage charges, and it’s easy to pack and unpack if you are visiting a number of different destinations. More importantly however, the lighter your case or backpack, the less fuel is used on whatever mode of transport you are on. The less fuel is used, the less carbon emissions are produced. It’s that simple!
Choose direct flights
Air travel is one of the largest contributors to greenhouses gases throughout the world. At times it is just not practical to travel without a flight, but there are things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and still fly when necessary. Taking a direct flight can greatly reduce your emissions. Planes discharge 70% of their CO2 emissions during take-off and landing. It’s simple math that if you reduce the amount of times you are taking off and landing to the bare minimum, then your carbon emissions will be lower than if you take a number of flights.
When travelling to the airport you can also reduce your emissions by using public transport as opposed to driving or getting a taxi like most people tend to do. Book online and get an electronic ticket to reduce the amount of paper wasted.
Fuel-efficient vehiclesNo matter how eco-friendly you try to be, there is no denying that sometimes it is just a whole lot easier and quicker to take the car. You may feel bad about doing so, but there are still a lot of ways you can hop in the car and greatly reduce your carbon emissions. For instance, improve your MPG (miles per gallon) by keeping your tyres properly inflated, employing steady acceleration, and driving at a steady speed. Also, the less weight you carry in your car, the less emissions it produces, so try to only carry essential items, and don’t leave things in the boot if you are not using them. You could also try carpooling or using alternative forms of fuel, or switch to a hybrid car.
Carry a water bottleSounds simple but so much waste is produced every year from plastic water bottles that could easily have been re-used. Don’t just buy another bottle when you run out. Save some money and re-fill the one you’ve already got. Encourage others to do the same.
Walk, walk, walk!
Walking is probably the simplest and easiest option to curb your carbon footprint! It may be stating the obvious, but all too often people are too quick to jump in the car, or go on a short bus journey, when by simply going by foot instead they would be lowering their emissions, and also able to take in their surroundings so much more! If a journey is a bit too far to walk, then hop on your bike and cycle there. It’s great exercise, will save you money on fuel, and the knock-on effects include improved outdoor air quality and less congestion on the roads.
We need to protect the world we live in — without it we would not be able to travel in the first place. You can improve the world a little by following these five simple steps to reduce your carbon emissions.
All uncredited images courtesy of Stock.XCHNG