5 Tips For Eco-Friendly Traveling

If there's one silver lining from the pandemic keeping us all at home, it's that the worldwide lockdowns gave the earth some much-needed time to recover. But now that the world is returning to normal, and cabin fever-struck travelers are once again making vacation plans, you might be wondering how to minimize your own environmental footprint while traveling. And well, here are some tips for becoming a more eco-friendly traveler.

Travel on the ground

While you may need to hop on a flight in order to reach your holiday destination, there are ample opportunities to limit your emissions on arrival. If traveling to a smaller, more convenient place like Amsterdam, you could consider a bike or even walking on foot rather than taking taxis or rental cars. If taking public transport isn't an option, then try out the train — like Amtrak in the United States — a company that's so far reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, and plans to reduce them up to 40% by 2030.

Book with low-emission airlines

Air travel is sometimes unavoidable to some extent. But when taking to the skies, you still have the power to make an environmentally conscious choice. Book plane tickets with airlines that are actively committed to reducing their carbon footprint. JetBlue is one such example, as the first and only U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality on all domestic flights. If you struggle to find a low-emission airline for your trip, then maybe opt for an airline flying newer planes like the A320neo or Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as they emit fewer emissions than older models.

Minimize use of plastics

The next time you stay at a hotel and get little bottles of soap and shampoo, think twice before throwing them away. Instead, take them home to refill. Repurposing the bottles minimizes plastic waste and also provides you with TSA-friendly shampoo and soap containers to use in the future. It's also a good idea to pack a reusable water bottle as opposed to using disposable plastic ones.

Book at a sustainable hotel

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the set of sustainability standards used to measure buildings like hotels. Some of the criteria that can boost a location's LEED rating are reducing pollution, improving air quality, and limiting exposure to chemicals. So when looking for overnight accommodations, keep LEED-certified hotels in mind. Also, consider booking with well-known hotel chains like Marriott International with extensive sustainability strategies.