Reducing Your Travel Carbon Footprint

Tropical beach scene on a sunny day in Oahu, HawaiiSo you love to travel, but hate the idea that your vacation has such a negative impact on the environment?  Well, fret no more precious! There are many, many ways in which you can have a zero-emissions holiday that gives you a guilt-free rest. All you need is a little forward planning and our guide to reducing your travel carbon footprint.

Travel light

Rediscover the glamor of train travel. Go ahead, book that first class ticket—it’s still cheaper than a flight. Sure, it takes a little longer to get there, but as you sip your free drinks in sumptuous luxury, you will rediscover the truth: that it’s about the journey, not the destination.

Countryside as Seen from a Moving TrainPlan road trips with your besties. Sure, road tripping does come with a carbon footprint, but it’s still lower that the exceptionally high carbon footprint of air travel and you will have some pretty fun I-Spy sessions that you just can’t get the flight attendants to play these days.

Must fly? Then go with the direct flight and fly during the day. Take offs and landings use the most fuel and planes use more fuel at night.

Photo credit: Nikki Fotheringham

Photo credit: Nikki Fotheringham

Take nothing but Facebook pictures, leave nothing but love

When you are on your vacation, find ways in which to reduce your carbon footprint. Make your own meals rather than eating exclusively in restaurants. Shop at local markets for your meals to reduce packaging and the carbon footprint of your food.

Staying in hotels, motels and B&Bs that are environmentally friendly will also help. Take your own toiletries rather than using the mini shampoos and only ask for laundry services for towels and bedding when you have to.

Photo credit: Nikki Fotheringham

Photo credit: Nikki Fotheringham

Take a water bottle with you and get water from your hotel rather than buying bottled water.

When you leave home, make sure everything is turned off. Even leaving appliances on standby uses electricity, so turn absolutely everything off to ensure that your home isn’t adding to your vacation carbon footprint.

Calculate the carbon footprint of your vacation by using the carbon calculator here. Now spend a little extra on carbon offset credits to ensure that your vacation is emissions free!


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