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The Gap Year Blog

Eco-Friendly Travel Options To Consider This Year

13 Jan 2020 12:45 PM

Eco-Friendly Travel Options To Consider This Year

Eco-friendly travel is becoming more and more popular. According to a report by booking.com, 87% of the global travellers that they interviewed indicated that they desire to travel more sustainably. Nearly four out of ten of these travellers confirmed that they often or always manage to travel in an eco-friendly way. 

Starting on this “green journey” can feel overwhelming though, so in the list below we cover simple ways to make your travel plans more eco-friendly in 2020.


1. Avoid Flying


Transportation has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of greenhouse gas emissions and is responsible for 22% of the world’s CO2 emissions. The most effective way to reduce CO2 emissions while travelling is by choosing to simply not fly. This is not always a viable option though, so if you do need to fly it is best to avoid doing multiple short distances in a row. Short distance aviation causes higher pollution per kilometre than any other form of transportation. So avoid stopovers whenever possible. Of course, one short flight is still better than one long flight, but it is even better to take a train or coach instead. A holiday by coach is far more eco-friendly than a holiday involving any flights. Coach holidays are not only convenient but also a great green option for any future travel plans.



2. Walk to Local Locations


When travelling, walking to local attractions is the most eco-friendly option for getting around. It is helpful to remember that it is estimated the average person can walk one mile in around ten minutes. Walking will not only benefit the environment but also your health so it is a real win-win situation to include as much walking whilst travelling as possible.


3. Use Public Transportation


Public transportation is another great alternative if the sight you are wanting to visit is not within walking distance. Metros and subways produce 76% lower emissions than single-occupancy vehicles. They also help lower congestion on the roads which causes cars to idle and release more harmful gases.



4. Stay in Sustainable Accommodation

There are many eco-friendly hotels/hostels popping up all over the world. Choosing an eco-friendly accommodation option is another way to make sure your travels are as environmentally friendly as possible. Choosing a green option when it comes to accommodation will help you help reduce your environmental impact, help you to have a more locally-relevant experience, and will leave you feeling good about your accommodation choice and the business you are supporting. Eco-friendly accommodation is definitely worth supporting as it offers a place to stay that is designed responsibly, responsibly uses energy and water, and promotes environmental practices like beach/forest cleanup activities. 


5. Leave No Trace

The only thing you should leave behind when travelling is footprints. To minimise your waste while travelling, take your own shower products with you in reusable bottles so that you don't use your hotel's mini shampoos and body lotions. Also, always bring your own water bottles that you can refill and bring your own bags so you can say no to any additional plastic bags. 


6. Use Economy Class and Pack Lightly

Flying economy class is more environmentally friendly than flying business class. Business-class fliers contribute a far larger carbon footprint than their economy counterparts. Business-class takes up a lot more physical space, whereas economy class carries more people and is thus a lot more efficient. It also takes a lot more resources to run a business-class as it requires business-class airport lounges, spas, and high-end facilities. The amount of water used and the amount of waste produced is also significantly higher than that of economy class. Another helpful consideration when travelling eco-friendly is the amount you pack. A heavy suitcase will require far more fuel consumption than a small, light backpack. So always travel as light as possible.


7. Support Local Destinations

Local food and drinks are one of the best parts of travelling and a great way to get to know a new destination. Purchasing local food/products means very little transportation was required for you to enjoy them. Buying or eating local produce also encourages local businesses and is a great way to authentically experience a new place and culture. 

Eco-friendly travel is far better for our planet. CO2-emissions from aviation, cars, railways, and other modes of transport contribute significantly to global warming. And the consequences of global warming are something which we should be aiming to avoid as much as possible. Every little bit of change helps so we hope this list will inspire you to make greener choices when travelling in 2020. 

By Ruby Clarkson - Frontier Guest Writer