With the lockdown and travel ban as a result of COVID-19, the earth was able to breathe again for the first time. Nitrogen levels around the globe have lowered significantly, ph levels of river water have improved, noise pollution has reduced, and so much more. But unless we learn to travel sustainably, these improvements will only last as soon as they started.
So, here’s how you can be sustainable with your post-lockdown traveling.
1. Avoid producing waste
The tourism industry has always been one of the top waste generators. In fact, the United Nations Environment Programme reported that tourists generate about 4.8 million tonnes of solid waste each year. And that doesn’t include waste produced from accommodations, travel places, and transportation.
This industry has become a threat to waste management systems all over the world. If we don’t do something about it, the world will soon be uninhabitable. You can do your part by traveling more responsibly through the following ways:
Avoid Food Waste
- Skip the disposable spoon and forks and request metal ones. Or, bring reusable utensils instead.
- Order only what you can eat. For leftovers, don’t throw them away. Save them for later!
- Forget about drinking from a straw, and drink straight from the cup instead. But if you really need one, you can purchase reusable straws.
- Bring a tumbler instead of buying bottled drinks.
Use Zero-Waste Products
Instead of using your usual travel essentials, use sustainable travel essentials this time. Believe it or not, there is a wide range for zero waste products from brands such as OKO Creations, LastObject, and Wild Minimalist available on the market, such as the following:
- Reusable tissue
- Reusable cotton pads and cotton buds
- Eco-friendly tote bags
- Eco-friendly shampoo bars and soaps
- Organic toothpaste
- Reef-safe sunscreen
2. Choose Eco-Conscious Accommodations
The accommodations that you book matters a lot. Not only do they offer you a place to relax and recharge, but they also largely affect the environment. They generate more waste than you can imagine, from how they clean each room to the way they serve food.
If you want to be sustainable with your post-lockdown traveling, book eco-conscious accommodations instead. For instance, some accommodations plant trees for every customer booking, while others implement a zero plastic policy.
Don’t forget to do your part during your stay such as turning off the lights when not in use and turning the tap off as you brush your teeth.
3. Go Green With Your Transportation
Transportation is a huge contributor to air pollution. According to the 2018 Environmental Performance Index, the number one environmental threat to health is the quality of the air we breathe. If you want to be sustainable with your post-lockdown traveling, then go green with your travel ways.
The best way to offset your carbon footprint as you get from one place to another is by planning your trip ahead. When visiting a particular destination, ask questions such as the following:
- How far is it?
- What is the best way to get there?
- How can I minimize my use of transportation?
- Is there public transportation available?
Traveling by Air
The airplane is the most common mode of transportation. It can take you anywhere you want to go. Unfortunately, it’s slowly killing the environment by emitting 102 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Try to avoid riding the plane as much as you can and seek alternatives. But if you have no other option, then choose eco-friendly airlines. These use sustainable biofuel, which minimizes greenhouse gas emissions by 70% to 100%.
Some airlines also have carbon offset programs. For example, they sell offsets on top of your airfare, which is then donated to that particular program.
Traveling by Land
Sharing a ride with others like taking public transportation is another great way to minimize your carbon footprint. For instance, instead of riding a private car to get somewhere, consider hopping on the train. Not only does it produce fewer carbon emissions, but it also takes you to your destination faster.
You can take it one step further by opting for bullet trains, as these are more efficient and more eco-friendly than regular trains.
Traveling by Sea
Surprisingly, riding a ship is more detrimental to the environment than riding a plane. If you have no other choice but to travel by sea, or if you are going on a cruise, then go for small ships instead, as these emit fewer carbon emissions.
You can also choose from a range of cruise lines that practice sustainability with their waste management, energy usage, water usage, and more.
There are more ways to be sustainable with your post-lockdown traveling. You can also add your own ideas to be sustainable, which you will discover along the way. But now that you know the basics, you are finally ready for a post-lockdown trip.