Mindful Travel: Reducing your carbon footprint whilst travelling

I took my first flight when I was 10 months old. My family and I went to Croatia. Since then, I have flown A LOT! While that has created some incredible memories, it has also harmed our environment. I know that.

I don’t want to talk about the environment and our planet, without shining light on the harsh realities that I also contribute to in my life. I want to make a difference and be more mindful in the way I travel. I have been working on that since I moved to England. I travelled so much in 2017, and though I flew very little to get around Europe, I did travel across the world so I had to fly from one continent to another. I tried my best not to fly too much on each continent. Overall, I was careful and it was always on my mind, but the reality is, I love to travel, and if I intend on continuing, I need to keep being smart about it!

First things fist. What is carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to, directly and indirectly, support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide. In other words, when you drive a car, or cook your food, it creates a certain amount of CO2.

Here are some tips:

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  1. Think about the way you get around, especially when you’re travelling 

Try to carpool when you can. Or, take the bus or train to get from place to place. Not only can you save money, but you can help reduce your carbon footprint. 

I LOVE travelling by train. It allows me sit back, relax, and enjoy the views! You get to see so much more. I also quite like how I can catch up on my writing, reading, and photo editing! 

I tend to get nauseous sometimes in buses, and any moving vehicle really, but trains are usually a safe bet, especially for a trip above 5 hours. 

 

2.  Choose “ECO” or “Green” airlines

It’s important to keep in mind how many times you take off and land. 25% of emissions come from those two actions. Choosing a leg that flies non-stop would help reduce your carbon footprint.

Look up different airlines and see what they are doing to reduce their impact on the environment! 

Here are some good ones: 

The Most Fuel-Efficient Domestic US Airlines:

  • Alaska
  • Frontier
  • Spirit
  • Southwest
  • Hawaiian

These airlines also save in fuel so the flights tend to be cheaper as well! πŸ™‚

3.  Pack mindfully 

Try soap bars instead of bottles. You can travel easily with them and there is never any waste. Travel is always a nice time to experiment with different soap and shampoo bottles you can find in markets that will then be associated with that place. It’s always nice to make yummy memories! 

You can also pack bamboo utensils! I have mine still wrapped in the cloths in which they came, which also helps protect them, making them easier to keep track of! However, if you do end up losing a fork (which can happen when on the road), at least it’s biodegradable. 

Don’t forget your bamboo toothbrushes and travel cases! 

Pack light!

The more weight on the plane, the more fuel is used. When packing, think about what you really need for this trip. You will often find that you don’t need as much as you think.  Packing light is also just better for you because you can get around more easily! 

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4.  Bring re-usable water bottle

People tell me that is stupid because you cannot take it with you on the plane. But, you CAN! I have had my own water bottle on a plane many, many times. You just have to know where to ask to have it filled before you get on board. I obviously do not fill it up on the plane. Furthermore, even if it’s not for the flight, it’s a good idea to have when you are travelling. You will reduce your use of plastic, first and foremost, and you can get special bottle to retain temperature when you are exploring for long periods of time. 

 

5. Buy local

When travelling, try to buy local food and brands. Not only will you be able to experience more of the country’s culture, but you will avoid single-use plastic and waste. 

6.  When exploring, consider your ways 

Do you always need to take a bus or train everywhere in a city? Absolutely not. You can walk, cycle, and hike alone or in a group. I do want to emphasise that safety should come first, so I do not suggest walking alone at night or hiking in the forest alone without the proper resources.  

You can also row or sail instead of taking a ferry or other not-so-eco-friendly alternatives.  It’s always a fun adventure! 

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Sincerely,

Gen x

Bringing the magic of Evealuna to you, no matter where you are in life and in the world…

Iceland, 2017

You may also like: A Beginner’s Guide to Zero-Waste Living

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