If you’ve been following along, we started an Eco-Conscious Travel series where we talk about ways you can be more eco-conscious when you travel. If you’re new here, read our articles on eco-conscious flying (and planning ahead) and where to stay.
In this article, we’re excited to talk about how you can reduce your carbon footprint once you arrive at your destination.
- Choose a carbon efficient transportation. A wonderful way to explore a new place and add to the experience is to live the life of a local. Skip the car and walk, bike, run or take public transportation. Choosing alternative transportation is another great way to reduce your overall carbon footprint compared to a private mode of transportation.
- Implement the Leave No Trace principles. These Leave No Trace rules are popular in the outdoors, but they work for city travels too.
- Opt for reusable options and items. Some of the places we visit don’t offer options to recycle or compost. Things like reusable water bottles (if the water is safe to drink where you are at), reusable utensils, and canvas bags are great ways to reduce waste.
- Be mindful of the things you purchase. We’ve been guilty of purchasing a lot of souvenirs in the past. But then we thought, “Do we really need seven different pins from one place? Each time?” No, no we don’t. We also try to think about where the product came from. If you do make a purchase, try to buy from a local artisan or business.
- Give resources back to the community. As visitors in a new place, we can support the local community and economy by eating at the local eateries and shopping from local vendors. Shopping locally can also help offset your carbon footprint.
- Support restaurants that source their ingredients locally and sustainably or ones that don’t use single-use plastic. You can look up eateries (or any businesses) that are part of Green America’s Green Business Network or the Green Business Engagement National Network. Green certifications ensure that each restaurant has taken measures to reduce its environmental impact in their business operations.
- Conserve resources. Along with reducing your carbon footprint and being mindful, conserve energy and water through your everyday actions. Opt out of housekeeping during your stay, turn off all lights, water, and AC before leaving your hotel room, and take any leftover amenities like shampoo or conditioner bottles as they are often thrown away after each stay.
Jennifer and Vivian