Green Tips for Planning a Trip
A lot of us travel to escape the hustle, bustle and responsibilities of normal work life, but in the process of doing so, we also end up leaving behind a familiar environment and the systems that we put in place to achieve our goals. As a result, our sustainable practices have a tendency of going out the window when we travel. By doing a little bit of planning, however, we can still set ourselves up to maintain our green routines to the best of our ability while we’re away. Let’s take a look.
Booking your flight
Decide whether you want to fly or drive based on where you’re going. Driving is better for short trips, but the further you’re travelling, the more efficient it becomes to to find a flight. Once you’ve decided that flying is the way to go, try to find a direct flight. A staggering 25% of a planes carbon emissions comes from take off and landing, so the fewer interchanging flights there are in your itinerary, the smaller your footprint.
Looking for accomodation
Various accrediting bodies, including Earth Check and Green Globe, exist to recognize hotels that have committed to adopting certain sustainable practices into their operations. Finding hotels with such certifications is a good first step in building a shortlist of accomodation options. But don’t stop there! Give each of the hotels on your list a call to find out more about what they’re doing. Do they have a recycling program? Are their toiletries sustainably sourced and made from eco-friendly materials? Better yet, once you’ve identified a hotel, submit a request to opt-out of the free toiletries during your stay and bring your own instead.
The more weight a plane or a train carries, the more fuel it burns, so think carefully when planning for your trip to make sure you only bring what is absolutely necessary. That said, remember to always bring your reusable companions so you can continue refusing single-use items even when abroad: straws and cutlery for dining out, a bottle to stay hydrated and a bag for all that souvenir shopping.
Knowing your way
Public transportation is a much more eco-friendly option for travelling within the city you’re visiting than hopping on a cab, but navigating the subway and bus systems can be a daunting task when you’re put on the spot. So do your research beforehand to arrive prepared. Find out what forms of public transportation are available and the payment methods for each type. On top of that, download a version of the city’s bus/subway map onto your phone so you can always find your way out of where you are without succumbing to the temptation of finding a taxi.