Leave Only Footprints: The Essential Guide to Eco-Conscious Travel

Getting out and exploring the world is one of the best ways to spend your time. Of course, jetting across the globe comes at a price— and not just for your bank account. Exploring the world and embarking on adventures is an incredible way to make the most of your time. It’s important to remember that while traveling brings joy, it also carries environmental responsibilities. Carbon emissions from travel can have a significant impact on the planet, but they also present an opportunity for positive change.

That sizable amount of carbon dioxide being released, in turn, contributes to the worsening effects of climate change we’re seeing today. Because of this, taking steps toward decarbonization within tourism is a top priority. Fortunately, there are ways travelers like yourself can see the sights (like visiting the Atacama desert or hiking in the Alps) more sustainably and work towards improved carbon neutrality. Below, we’ll take a look at a few tips to get you started.

First and foremost, there’s how you get where you’re going. As transportation is the most prominent part of the industry, it makes sense to address the ways you get from home to your destinations. Check companies that are responsible…

One way to get around without air travel is to utilize public transportation, such as trains and buses. While this route takes more time, it greatly limits your personal carbon footprint over private transport as well as reduces traffic congestion. You could also opt for biking and walking once you’ve arrived at your destination. Many places offer rental bikes; traveling by one for your short trips instead of a car can lead to an approximate 75% decrease in travel emissions. It also provides you the opportunity to enhance your experience by exploring more of your destination on foot.

Another approach to reduce your carbon footprint or travel with responsibility is to seek out travel companies, airlines and accommodations committed to environmental protection. One such policy is the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. With this initiative, participating organizations commit publicly to reducing emissions over the next decade and achieving Net Zero before 2050.

Choosing to support companies that are transitioning to pollution reduction-based efforts or carbon capturing initiatives can make a considerable difference when traveling more responsibly. Some airlines have implemented practices to limit weight and optimize flight paths, thereby increasing efficiency. There are even travel companies offering unique immersion experiences with a focus on minimizing ecological impact as well as drawing attention to natural conservation. Such excursion opportunities can help you and your family make memories that last a lifetime and cut back on your impact at the same time.

A responsible traveler should pay attention to these factors: choosing companies that take concrete actions regarding climate commitment. Companies should transition to being less polluting. Tourism companies that support certified initiatives and capture carbon through nature-based solutions are examples of such efforts.

These are just a few ways to travel with a carbon neutral focus while still enjoying a new adventure. If you want to learn more about sustainable travel, please see the accompanying resource from Explora for further information.

This infographic was created by Explora



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