For the most part, going on vacation isn’t environmentally friendly. But most people aren’t willing to sacrifice the possibility of exploring a new region just to keep themselves carbon-neutral; after all, vacation has tremendous health benefits, and for those with wanderlust, it’s one of the best things to look forward to in life.
So is it possible to have a “green” vacation? And if so, what are the best strategies to accomplish it?
The Main Obstacles to a Green Vacation
Let’s start by looking at the main obstacles to keeping your vacation green:
Travel, by definition, requires you to go to another place, whether it’s a new city, a new state, or a new country. NO matter what method of travel you use, you’re going to need to consume fuel to use it.
It’s also common to rent a vehicle in your new destination, so you can travel more easily or reach certain areas inaccessible to public transportation. These can be fuel-intensive as well, depending on what type of model you choose.
Travelers tend to overly rely on disposable goods, including pre-packaged foods and other one-time use items, for packing convenience. This can produce an excessive amount of waste, especially if you’re not familiar with the composting or recycling protocols of your new area.
Many tourists end up going to nature reserves, including parks and forests, to witness a new ecosystem. Unfortunately, the high traffic can have a massive impact on the ecology, wearing down the scenery and adding undue stress to the environment.
How to Have an Environmentally Friendlier Vacation
So what strategies can you use to make your vacation environmentally friendlier?
Try not to pack too much for your vacation. The more you pack, the more waste you’re likely to produce, and if your luggage weighs too much, it can increase the amount of fuel you consume throughout your trip. Only pack the essentials.
Use efficient travel methods
Try to rely on efficient traveling methods. For example, flying tends to be fuel-intensive, so it isn’t an environmentally friendly travel choice by itself; however, you can use a carbon offset program to negate at least some of the emissions produced by your trip. If you’re looking for something more cost-effective, relying on a public transportation method like buses is a good backup strategy. Or if you’re taking a road trip, make sure to rely on a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Choose the right hotel
You’ll probably need to stay at a hotel during your travel, so try to choose a hotel with green practices. For example, if you search around, you can probably find a hotel that composts its waste, or at least one committed to recycling best practices. Or, if you prefer to stay away from energy-intensive businesses, you could try to find a host in your destination city and stay in their home.
Choose your products carefully
When buying new products on vacation, such as food, or replacement essentials like towels or travel gear, pay attention to where you’re buying. Does this company have a commitment to environmentally friendly standards? Are these products recycled or locally sourced?
Minimize your impact
If you’re going to travel to a national park or other place of natural scenery, follow the important quote: “leave only footprints, take only memories.” The philosophy here is to avoid leaving behind any trash or products that could contaminate the scenery, and leave the scenery intact—in other words, avoid taking rocks, wood, or other natural souvenirs, no matter how inconsequential they seem.
So is it possible to have a completely efficient vacation? That depends on where you’re going, but it’s unlikely your visit will be entirely neutral. Still, with the right approach, you can minimize your environmental impact and still enjoy the benefits of travel.
Article Submitted By Community Writer