No matter what kind of travel you like to do – luxury, adventure, backpacking or business – there are many small ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
We looked around for ideas from experts, and have come up with a list of some basics that travelers pay attention to:
- Pack smart: Besides having less to lug around personally, they help reduce the weight of the aircraft and improve its fuel efficiency.
- Eat local cuisine: They pick fresh pakodas made of local ingredients over packaged chips. By doing this they help reduce waste and the pollution attributed to transportation.
- Take their own toiletries: They use stuff they can trust to work, and help reduce plastic waste (throwaway plastic bottles). They also use biodegradable soaps made of natural materials so they don’t end up polluting the local environment.
- Make space for your walking shoes: yes they are bulky, and yes a pain to carry, so they wear their sneakers while traveling, and thus are able to fight the urge to drive everywhere. They eat all they want because they know they’ll get the exercise, and enjoy truly immersive local experiences.
- Travel by car, bus or train: they know that Plane travel leaves a huge carbon footprint, so they sometimes take longer journey with people that you enjoy spending time with, and make the most of the travel itself! Also, if traveling internationally, they choose airlines that provide carbon credits / transfers.
- Choose environmentally responsible businesses: hotels that promote water conservation, or prompt guests to re-use towels, and provide entertainment options that use local talent. Most businesses that are eco-friendly proudly display their efforts. Eco-friendly travelers look out for these and encourage such businesses.
- Carry a reusable water bottle: While this one is a simple idea, it is perhaps the hardest to execute. Finding safe drinking water is one of the most common concerns that travelers have in India. Savvy eco-travelers carry water purification tablets, but these are hard to find in India and the imported ones are costly. (We tried a few chemists, and looked online with little luck. We found options for commercial use, but not individual). If anyone else has any ideas here, please do share.
We’d love to hear your ideas!