One thing we all noticed when travel came to a halt last March was how much travel has an environmental impact. From clear waters in the Venice Canals to ocean life returning to harbours and less pollution in the air. When we do get back out there and make future travel plans, there are some ways to keep the environment at the top of your mind. And all of these travel green ideas are great for local travel and will also be post-pandemic friendly.
TRAVEL GREEN: Think About Your Airline Carbon Footprint
- Fly less often. The more you take off, the more fuel you use. But, nixing those connecting flights is your best bet.
- Take longer flights or nonstop flights. The longer the distance you fly, the more efficient flying becomes.
- Many airlines offer carbon footprint incentives where you can use points or pay fees to offset your carbon footprint. This fee generally goes into energy efficiency or reforestation efforts, and you can research to know how your funds will be used.
- Bring your reusable items on the flight (so you can reach for and use them mid-flight).
TRAVEL GREEN: Opt For Road Trips Instead
- Road trips are a great option this summer within Canada or the US.
- Road trips give you a bit more control on where you go, how much you’re driving and what you bring with you.
- If you’re renting a car, look at eco-efficiency or hybrids.
- Bring Reusables To cut down plastic waste, carry your own reusable flatware. Bamboo travel flatware, metal straws, a collapsable water bottle, coffee mug, bags, and toiletries. Think about what you’re packing as well. Road trips mean you can bring a lot of food items with you, helping you control packaging and more.
TRAVEL GREEN: Change Up Your Travel Essentials
- Larq makes a great water bottle that not only eliminates plastic water bottles, but also filters your water for you.
- Use reusable masks
- Look for green toiletries. Toiletries can be one of the biggest culprits. An-Hydra is a water-less skin care line of powders and oils (which make it super easy for carry-only in the future!). All you need to do is add a few drops of water to mix up the cleanser and lotions. It saves space, packaging and precious water. Routine is a Alberta-based natural deodorant line that are all-natural and come in recyclable glass containers (get the mini versions for travel).
Seek Eco-Friendly Accommodation
- There are environmental seals of approval for hotels are all over the world. Double check your accommodations for their green level and sustainable travel status.
- The newly launched Beyond Green, a purpose-driven hospitality brand committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet by embracing travel as a force for good.
- Beyond Green has 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. These range from The Brando in Tahiti and Ted Turner’s private Vermejo estate in New Mexico. To Francis Ford Coppola’s Family Hideaways in Belize and Ashford Castle in Ireland.
TRAVEL GREEN: In Your Destination
- Book Eco-Conscious Tours Many tour companies are part of carbon-offset programs and committed to supporting local businesses.
- Think local Visit local markets, small family-run restaurants, shops and opt for the local beers, wines and spirits
- Buy handmade souvenirs made locally with sustainable products
Look for destinations that thrive being sustainable
- Many destinations list on their tourism sites what their sustainability plans are.
- Costa Rica has ambitious plans to operate as an emission-free economy by 2050- that means you’ll find loads of sustainable and eco-friendly hotels, restaurants, tours and more here.
- Fogo Island Inn: A community-friendly initiative and 100% of the operating surpluses are reinvested into the community to help the people of Fogo Island prosper. Rainwater is filtered for use in toilets, laundry and appliances and solar panels supply hot water. Local suppliers for food and materials are used wherever possible, and the furniture is handcrafted and produced at the Inn’s Woodshop, which employs local craftspeople.
- Pikaia Lodge, Ecuador: The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s treasures, so this carbon-neutral property uses alternative energy resources and has an outstanding social responsibility program. Use of recyclable, eco-friendly building materials for construction, including lava stones are one way they are sustainable.