If you love to travel and take in everything our planet has to offer, you probably already have a pretty good understanding of just how important it is to protect the environment. From the air we breathe to the water we drink, almost every aspect of our lives is affected by the state of Earth.
As more and more people are beginning to realize this, the travel industry is under an increasing amount of pressure to become more environmentally friendly—and they are rising to the challenge!
Here are the top three ways our world is going green in terms of transportation and hospitality, as well as how you can support their sustainability initiatives as you trot the globe:
- Trains & Air Travel
One of the most carbon-intensive forms of transportation is air travel. The industry is taking steps to change that, though! Many airlines are now using more fuel-efficient engines. Rotax engines are a great example of this, and they are widely used which shows that something is really changing. As far as trains, some are now either partly or fully powered by electricity—much cleaner than fossil fuels!
- How You Can Help:
When you’re planning your next trip, consider taking a train instead of flying. It’s often just as fast (if not faster) and you’ll be doing your part to reduce carbon emissions. If you must fly, offset your carbon footprint by paying a fee, planting trees, or investing in renewable energy.
- Hotels & Other Accommodations
Hotels and other accommodations are also working to reduce their environmental impact. Even luxury suites are now equipped with energy-saving lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads! On top of that, some hotels are being built with sustainable materials such as bamboo or recycled plastic. The most eco-friendly accommodations of all are also becoming more popular—eco-lodges, treehouses, and yurts!
- How You Can Help:
When you’re booking a hostel bed or hotel room, seek out properties that have green certifications, like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This means they’ve been verified to have low impacts on the environment. You can also help out by conserving water and electricity while you’re staying there.
- Food and Beverage Service
The food and beverage industry is also making strides in sustainability! For example, many restaurants are now using locally sourced ingredients and separating waste properly. Some bars and restaurants are even starting to compost their scraps and spoiled inventory. There’s still more work to be done, though— We should all do our part by avoiding single-use plastics and packaging!
- How You Can Help:
When you’re ordering food, try to choose items that are locally sourced and in season. This will help reduce your carbon footprint. When you’re finished with your meal, don’t forget to recycle or compost your leftovers!
Other Tips for Staying Sustainable While You Travel:
Supporting sustainability initiatives within the transportation and hospitality industries is just the start— If you want to stay truly eco-friendly as you wander the world, follow these tips and strive to learn more:
- Rent, Don’t Buy
Whenever possible, rent items like bikes or kayaks instead of buying them. That way, you won’t have to transport them back home with you when you’re done!
- Bring Your Own
Bring your own reusable water bottle, straw, and shopping bags with you on your trip. This will help reduce waste while you’re on the go!
- Shop Local
Supporting local businesses is a great way to reduce your impact while you travel. Plus, it’s a great way to find unique souvenirs!
- Say “No” to Towel Service
If you’re staying at a hotel, you can often opt out of having your towels and sheets changed every day. This saves water and energy!
- Walk Whenever Possible
Walking is not only good for the environment—it’s also a great way to explore a new place!
The hospitality industry is making great strides in terms of sustainability—and there are plenty of ways you can help out! By making small changes in our tourism habits, we can all help make a huge difference for Mother Earth.
Next time you’re planning a trip, keep these tips in mind and do your part to travel green. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even help set a new standard for sustainable travel as you spread your nomadic wings!