With current travel restrictions, something we really love has really been missing. This gave us the chance to stop and look back at our habits, analyze what was right or wrong, set some goals to make it better. Adding countries to our to-travel-lists, languages to learn, recipes to cook, and crafty arts to start. All in all, nature has been blooming and detoxing since the lockdown. It shows that part of the earth’s problems was our attitude and routine. That brought awareness and understanding about ‘travel responsibly and sustainably’ back to our agenda once again.
Talking about CO2, we currently know that the sea absorbs about 25% of total carbon dioxide emissions. That is responsible for the terrible consequences such as coral bleaching and oceans acidification. This means a more acidic pH in the sea, which has severe effects on some species of marine wildlife, particularly crustaceans who suffer from weaker shells – that means lobster will be off the menu!
Steps For More Responsible and Sustainable Traveling
When it comes to traveling via air, it is no surprise that planes produce a much higher amount of emissions compared to other modes of transports, such as trains, cars, and buses. Up in the air, there is no factor mitigating the CO2 emissions, as trees do here on the ground level. More and more air companies, from low-cost Ryanair to premium airline British Airways, are now advertising flights that emit a lesser amount of carbon dioxide. That is good news as it makes you aware that the market is shifting towards greener tendencies and empowers you towards the difference and choices you are making. Clearly, companies are responding to more travel responsibly and sustainably clientele demanding for eco-friendlier solutions. This is good, even though it is not enough. 🍃🌱
As nowadays we have changed travel habits compared to our parents’ generation. We want to be in as many places as possible, tick the country on our scratch map, show our friends and family our exotic pictures on our IG account and travel the world as a trip in our neighborhood. I am not saying it’s bad to be eager and curious to travel to new countries, experience new cultures, gastronomies, landscapes, and environments. But, today we have to take travel and sustainability into consideration. So, how can we travel more responsibly and sustainably and contribute to be less invasive towards the ecosystem?
How Can We Travel More Responsibly and Sustainably?
Here are some tips I would like to pass on to you and that could be implemented right in your next travel:
Less and longer journeys:
If allowed by your employer and holidays allowance, try and have one longer holiday, instead of three short city breaks. Also, try and combine more destinations on the same journey. For example, last November, I flew to Moscow, took a high-speed train to St Petersburg (less than 4 hours), and then flew back from there. This avoided the extra flight between the two places and extra emissions, as a plus I visited two wonderful cities. WIN-WIN 🗓️⏳
When flying to a destination, try and connect with other areas with buses or trains. Every country in the world has a good system of transport used by locals. This is often a cheaper way to travel and saves you the time of getting to the airport, going through security, and queuing at the gate. You can find the local train company, simply typing on Google the country name and the mention ‘national train’. The first result should be the right link! 🚌🚄
These are widely used by locals and tourists in other continents such as South America, where train service is not available, and flights are too expensive. Omio is a great search website as it compares all transports available in the area, showing you prices and companies offering it. In this way, it allows you to make the best choice according to your plans and budgets. This might not be the most comfortable journey! However, it will make you save some money to invest in a better hotel staying the night after and you will sleep amazingly. It’s a promise! ✨🏨
This is another solution to consider in safe countries, where the journey is shared with people that travel in the same direction. BlaBla Car (www.blablacar.com) is the most known carpooling service used in Europe: It allows you to search for your journey and find the relevant ones, including details such as how many people are already in the car, car model and comfort, friendliness of the driver, stops in between the drive. If the journey is not available at the moment of your search, you can always set up an alert to be informed when a new ride is made available. You can pay virtually or cash in some countries, could it be easier than this? 🚗👧🏻🧑🏾👩🏼🧓🏽👨🏿
Bike and walk:
Let’s keep it easy sometimes! Whenever possible, move locally walking or cycling. Every city or touristy destination offers a bike rental service where you can easily rent a bike for the day. More and more cities also offer the smart bike’s system for which you can drop the bike at the available stations and pay the service by the hour for a small rate. This is a great way to get higher awareness of the space surrounding you, enjoy the landscapes, and some good daily exercise. But remember, security first so do not forget the helmet! 🚴🏻♀️💪🏼
Any other idea in mind to share with us?
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Ciao there, Giulia here! I am a sustainability and travel editor based in London. I have a growing passion for the ocean’s preservation, fight against plastic pollution, and zero waste solutions. My aim is to raise awareness around these topics and develop confidence in readers! For more, you can visit my Instagram @h2o_factor. Catch the wave!