traveler with wheeled carry on suitcase on a moving sidewalk in an airport
If you have a tough time lightening your load, consider buying a smaller suitcase that makes it impossible to overpack.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / astra490

7 Simple Ways to Be a More Eco-Conscious Traveler

How to Travel With a Smaller Eco Footprint

The American transportation sector is responsible for about 40% of the country’s fossil fuel-related carbon dioxide emissions — reducing our collective transportation footprint could dramatically lower the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

Fortunately, if you love to travel but are concerned about the impact it has on our planet, it’s not only possible, but fairly easy, to keep the environment in mind while still enjoying the passion you have for seeing the world.

Start your journey to becoming a more eco-conscious traveler today!

Lighten Your Load

Packing lighter not only makes getting around easier, it reduces an airplane’s carbon emissions too. Carefully consider each item you bring — do you really need those extra pair of shoes that add an additional couple pounds?

And what about all of those heavy books, why not download them instead? If you have a tough time lightening your load, consider buying a smaller suitcase that makes it impossible to over pack.

You should also consider the type of clothing you bring. Packing light in the fall and winter can be especially challenging!

Clothes made out of merino wool are super-lightweight, but they’ll keep you warm in chilly weather and cool when it’s warm out. You can also wear it longer without it starting to smell.

Just those simple changes in how you pack can have a significant impact on the environmental impact — in fact, they say that leaving those two-pound pair of shoes at home is like removing over 10,000 cars from the road for an entire year.

woman reading on an airplaneKeeping the shades down will help to keep the aircraft cooler. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / kasto80

Keep the Window Shades Down

Have you ever wondered why they ask you to lower the window shade on the plane? It’s because it helps keep the aircraft cooler, lessening what it takes to keep it cool. That ultimately saves energy while lowering greenhouse gas emissions, too.

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multi-story hotel surrounded by lush greeneryBy doing a few minutes’ research you are sure to find an eco-friendly hotel that’s right for you. Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / kasto80

Book Eco-Friendly Hotels

These days, there are a wealth of hotels and other accommodation options that are “green,” minimizing the negative impact on the surrounding land, while ensuring an outstanding customer experience at the same time.

Booking a room at one of them can have a huge impact, and even make travel more fun with the many unique eco-conscious places available. How does a sustainable wooden tree house sound? Or an ultra-fancy hotel with exteriors that maximize natural light, reducing the need for electricity?

Simply by doing a few minutes’ research you’re sure to find the one that’s right for you. If you aren’t sure where to start, you can locate a list of global options at the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

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