Reduce Your Carbon Footprint From Travel With These 3 Easy Changes

If you’re an eco-conscious traveler, you might find it tricky to balance your love of travel with your love of the environment. Perhaps you’ve even wondered how to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be complex. There are simple things you can do to help offset your travel carbon footprint. In fact, you can start today by reading these 3 easy tips, below.

CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn 3 easy changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint from travel, including:

What Is A Carbon Footprint?

In case you’re not exactly sure what “carbon footprint” means, here’s the low down.

Carbon footprint refers to the negative impact that your activities have on the environment through producing carbon gasses, including carbon dioxide and methane. These gasses feed into the earth’s atmosphere to hasten the greenhouse effect and can result in global warming and climate change.

Some countries, like the US, average a higher carbon footprint per person than other places in the world. Your lifestyle choices, like travel, can affect your impact.

The Impact of Travel on The Environment

It should go without saying that the environment matters but, for many of us, travel is also important to the lifestyles we love to lead. 

Unfortunately, given that travel methods such as flights account for an astounding 2.5% of global carbon dioxide production, that creates something of a conflict. 

And, as the need to reduce our carbon footprints becomes ever-more pressing, this is a concern that causes many travellers sleepless nights.

The thing is that, once you’ve got wanderlust in your bones, it isn’t as simple as dropping travel the moment you realize the damage it can cause. 

Then again, it’s plain to see that we can’t continue jetting away without a thought as we have been doing. 

Which begs the question, what exactly can we do to carry on feeding our wanderlust without fueling global warming?

Obviously, taking transport with lower carbon emissions is the best option.

When that’s not possible, many travelers are also managing to offset the impact of their passion in the following ways. 

Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint From Travel

1. Make Positive Changes in Your Everyday Life

One of the easiest ways to offset the impact of flying is simply to reassess your habits in other areas. 

It may be that you start walking to work instead of driving. 

Or, perhaps you’d prefer to sign up for renewable home energy with a company like Choose Solar. 

You could line-dry your laundry rather than using your dryer.

Even something as simple as using your own bags at the store can, over time, make a drastic difference to your everyday carbon footprint.

Also, it can help to eat local foods you purchase farm stands rather than buying produce that’s been shipped clear across the globe.

Opting for a plant-based diet is another change you can make that will reduce your carbon footprint. A study by University of Oxford says that eliminating meat and dairy from your diet can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73%!

This means that your flights at least won’t cause any more environmental damage than you would have accrued without such efforts.

2. Carbon Offset Your Flights

Another tempting option for reducing travel impact right now is to carbon offset flights through airline schemes. 

What does “carbon offset” mean? 

Carbon offset means that when you buy a flight, some of your flight costs go towards reducing carbon emissions equal to–or at least partially to–the carbon your flight produces. 

Admittedly, there has been some controversy about the efficiency of these schemes. 

But it’s worth considering.

If you do choose this route, however, make sure to research your options so you can rest easy that your money really is going towards the causes you support.

3. Stay in Sustainable Resorts

Flights get a bad reputation, but tourism in large hotels can be equally damaging. 

That’s why it’s also worth seeking sustainable resorts for your travel accommodations. 

You’ll find some fantastic options to make this possible!

One such example is Jade Mountain resort in St. Lucia, which has won awards for its green building methods.

Another is Bisate Lodge in Rwanda, famed for its conservation efforts. 

Accommodations that work to give back or donate to the local eco structure, like the Sesuit Harbor House in Cape Cod, are also viable options. 

Whether you rent an eco-friendly cabin in the woods or stay at a hotel that utilizes green energy or something similar, you’ll be making up in some way for the damage in getting there. 

Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint From Travel

Travel is never going to be great news for the environment, especially where flights are concerned. But, with these efforts, you might just find that you can minimize the damage, and continue to enjoy the planet that you’re aiming to save.

If you enjoyed learning how to be a more conscientious traveler, continue reading this article about making more sustainable travel choices.


Photo credits: Woman on cliff – Katie Drazdauskaite, Veggies – Sven Johanson (Unsplash); Airplane – ysn Benz, forest – jplenio  (Pixabay) from Pixabay, Hotel room – Tim Gouw (Pexels)

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

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