What is Sustainable Travel?
Sustainable travel is traveling in a way that greatly reduces or, ideally, completely eliminates the carbon footprint associated with the trip. It may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually much easier than one may think. In fact, we are convinced that sustainable travel is one of the most positive ways we can help our planet recover. Here’s why:
In our personal experience, one of the best ways for a person to reduce emissions is, in fact, to travel. By traveling, we have become even more aware of our impact on the environment and just how important it is to protect our planet. Every time we experience life in a different country, we come to better understand the effects of climate change on the local communities. Not only do these experiences serve as a reminder to minimize our impact while exploring the world, they also encourage us to live in a more eco-friendly way at home.
Since we started traveling with more emphasis on sustainability, we have found numerous ways in which we can also be more green in our everyday lives. Here are a few simple tips to serve as a basic guide to making more environmentally conscious decisions:
- Walk or bike to local destinations
- Take a train or bus instead of a plane
- Track carbon emissions when flying and offset them with a reputable program
- Support the local economy; eat, stay and buy from local places
- Maintain a mostly vegan diet
- Eliminate plastic waste and reuse when possible
In our recent travels, we learned that the camper van is a fantastic all-in-one solution to many of the negative environmental impacts caused by tourism. The camper van provides transportation, accommodation, cooking facilities and even bathroom facilities, if one so chooses. While typical mobile homes are gas guzzlers, modern camper vans often offer similar or even better fuel consumption than many cars and SUVs. We experienced this first hand when we rented a camper van from Roadsurfer, who also offsets the carbon footprint of each van.
There were two more big takeaways from our trip in a camper van:
- We do not need nearly as much water as we typically use on a daily basis.
- We need the natural world more than it needs us.
We could go on all day about the fantastic experience we had in our camper van as well as the countless benefits of traveling this way, but we’ll sign off with this closing thought: The future of our planet must be taken seriously. We can save our only home by practicing sustainable travel and showing others how easy it can be.