This blogpost may contain affiliate links that, if you click on and you make a purchase, earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I will only ever recommend or promote products/services I love and feel are valuable to my audience. My opinions are my own and always honest. Read more in my affiliate disclaimer.
Conscious travel feels daunting at first and lots of people think it’s very time consuming and very expensive to travel more consciously. I’m here today to give you easy tips to lower your carbon footprint while travelling. It’s an easy process but this guide will give you a few guidelines if you’re not sure where to start!
5 Easy Ways To Lower Your Carbon Footprint While Travelling
Let me explain what your carbon footprint is if you’ve never heard of it before!
What’s your carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of your day-to-day activities. They measure it in a carbon dioxide, which is CO2. It is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by those activities like driving a car, taking the airplane but also every single household and store using electricity. It’s incredibly broad.
Try to only take the airplane on long haul flights
The carbon footprint is highest when you take a short flight, let’s say from Amsterdam to Paris for example. Long haul flights aren’t as bad for the environment. The bulk of the carbon emissions happens during take off and landing. I’d say the turning point is at a flight of 3 hours. Try to find an alternative for flights shorter than 3 hours, like the car or the train.
I’m sure it’s not always possible but it’s a good guideline to keep in mind if you do have the option between taking the train or plane. For example, I never take the airplane to Paris. I always take the Thalys. It’s the cheapest if you book 3 months in advance.
Use public transportation on location
Whenever we use public transportation, we share the carbon emissions with all the passengers in the same vehicle. The train or bus would drive anyway and our own carbon footprint decreases whenever we take public transportation.
Try to use public transit whenever travelling to a new location as well! I know it seems a lot of work to carry your backpack or suitcase in public transportation but it definitely helps in lowering your carbon footprint and travel more consciously.
Turn everything off when you’re away
Turn off all the lights, electronics and thermostat whenever leaving your accommodation. The best way is to unplug all of your electronics because the average charger consumes around 2.24 watts of energy which is a lot!
Don’t shower too long and reuse the towels instead of getting new ones every day. Especially when you’re at home, this will save you a ton of money as well.
Stay at an eco-friendly hotel
These hotels are perfect to lower your carbon footprint while travelling because these hotels take care of all the environmental factors for us. It can feel overwhelming to try and find an eco-friendly hotel when you’re not sure what to look for. Don’t worry because I have a full on blogpost with tips about how to choose an eco-friendly hotel. It’ll take care of those worries and make it much easier for you to choose the perfect hotel.
The eco-friendly hotels are more modern as well which is nice if you’re looking for a bit more luxury while travelling!
Choose net positive impact tours and activities
Whenever I travel, I participate in a ton of tours and activities. I love exploring the destination and meeting new locals and cultures. We can make a difference in our carbon footprint if we change up the way we do our activities just a tiny bit. Choose walking or biking tours over bus tours. I’m sure we all know the tour busses in the big cities like London or Paris. Biking is such a great alternative and you get the chance to stay longer at one specific site!
In addition, not really related to your carbon footprint, look at ethical tours to make sure you treat the animals and locals right. Up and close tours with animals usually invade their habitat and scares them so I would definitely stay away from those. Eat local, shop local and support the local economy by staying like a local. It will make a huge positive impact! I wrote an entire blogpost on how to give back to the local community while travelling.
These are my 5 tips to lower your carbon footprint while travelling in an easy and inexpensive way. I promised it would be easy! Try to incorporate one or more of these tips and you’ll make a positive impact and lower your carbon footprint. I say this many times: but small chances eventually make a big difference.