How I Plan to Reduce My Carbon Footprint When I Travel

January 11, 2018 , In: Wellness , With: No Comments

I have a never-ending sense of wanderlust. I always find myself wishing I was exploring. While I have an unrelenting urge to travel, I’m also driven by the fact that I’d like to reduce my carbon footprint. With the endless need for plane rides and taxi trips, I wasn’t quite sure how I could be both an environmentalist and a traveler at the same time.

Fortunately, I quickly realized that I could reduce my carbon footprint during my travels while maintaining my sense of exploration and conservation. With a little care and preparation, I plan to reduce my carbon footprint without asking too much of the land.

Keeping the Eco in Ecotourism

Ecotourism runs deeper than walking through a forest or zip-lining through the woods. I find that sustainable travel and an appreciation for the land is as equally important, too.

Whenever I travel to Costa Rica – the birthplace of ecotourism – I make sure that my dedication to the environment doesn’t stop the minute I step foot outside of the Bajos Del Toro Cloud Forest.

Keeping the land green and thriving means enjoying the beauty of these landscapes without leaving an environmental impact. Instead of engaging in carbon-producing activities, I’ve come to realize that all adventures and feel-good activities often happen entirely outside.

To be an eco-tourist and reduce my carbon footprint, you have to truly prioritize the preservation of the land by playing your part in keeping the surrounding area alive and clean.

Hydration Doesn’t Always Come in a Plastic Bottle

Many countries do have drinkable water available, especially for tourists. It’s just a matter of drinking your water wisely and picking your sources of beverages with caution.

If you’re still unsure about the available water where you’re traveling, consider investing in a water bottle with a built-in filtration system. Switching out a backpack full of plastic water bottles for one single reusable container not only helped me reduce my environmental impact, but it also took a lot of weight off of my back quite literally.

Who says you have to drink water entirely, either? Sometimes, I prefer to sip the sweet juice straight from a freshly grown coconut. This is an easy way I can reduce my carbon footprint.

Traveling Lightly Without Technology

When I look at tourists before the technological age, I can’t shake the feeling that they seem so much happier. While it may be cool to get an envy-worthy Instagram picture of the sun as it sets over Bali, I’d rather enjoy the surrounding area.

Touring like an old-school tourist for me means traveling and exploring the land without relying on technology. Not only does leaving my camera behind save my battery, but I also think it provides for a much enriching experience.

I never know if I’ll ever visit the same city or area twice — which means making memories is increasingly valuable and necessary. I’ve learned to forgo hiking to the top of a mountain for the perfect photo in favor of savoring the view.

Using Two Wheels Instead of Four

Traveling on a bike or even my own two feet is my ideal preference. Not only do I get the chance to explore the area more freely, but I reduce my carbon footprint and the need for fuel, motor oil, and toxic battery use entirely. When I’m exploring a new land, there’s never a need to hurry — which is why I can rely on pacing myself by walking.

Cities across the globe are becoming increasingly attuned to the importance of bicycle travel and even install traffic lights made for those riding.

Browse the Local Restaurants, Markets, and Breweries

Did you know that there was such a thing as “beer mileage?” This phrase refers to the carbon impact created by the fermentation and importation of just one single beer. And I’m not just talking about alcohol, either. Everything you eat, drink, and use has its own unique environmental impact. Lessen the overall carbon footprint of these goods by shopping locally instead!

Choosing to eat local doesn’t just provide you with the freshest available food, it also reduces your carbon footprint — especially when considering that food production constitutes 83% of carbon emissions alone.

Whenever I travel, I always strive to make myself at home for more than just a day or two. Instead of flying to my house and wishing I was back on the beaches of Cancun, I’ll extend my stay to make my flights worthwhile.

I’ve come to realize that traveling does not have to be synonymous with pollution, wastefulness, and an increased carbon footprint. With a travel brochure in one hand and a bag full of locally produced goods and a reusable container in the other, I realize that I can reduce my carbon footprint one eco-friendly step at a time.


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Kacey Bradley

Lifestyle - Wedding - Travel

Welcome to The Drifter Collective - a lifestyle blog sharing my love for travel, style, wedding inspiration, homemaking and so much more! Some people call me a traveler, while others refer to me as 'the well cultured friend" who drifts into everything. Pun intended. :)

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