Sustainability | Renewable Energy

10 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel in 2024



10 Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel in 2024

By Cora Gold

 

Is there anything better than a weekend camping trip at a national park or backpacking through Europe? Perhaps you fancy sunbathing in Cape Town, South Africa, or waking up to views of the beautiful volcanoes in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. 

Wherever the travel bug has you planning your next trip, it is crucial to prioritize sustainable tourism. Here are 10 tips for an eco-friendly vacation in 2024.

Book Flights Responsibly

Although aviation accounted for only 2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2022, it makes up much of your carbon footprint while traveling. Purchase coach over business class and opt for non-stop flights when possible. The less time spent in the air, the better for offsetting CO2 outputs. Another option is to travel close to home or by other means, such as by car or train.

Pack Wisely

Packing light lessens the fuel a plane must use to reach its destination. Bring only reusable items, from baggage to garments and multi-purpose essentials. For instance, you can use conditioner for your hair and shaving. You’ll also want to pack a BPA-free reusable water bottle.

Abide By Local Laws

An eco-friendly traveler follows all local environmental regulations, meaning you adhere to marked trails and campsites, and steer clear of protected areas. Other standard rules to observe include avoiding bringing glass objects onto beaches and following seasonal hunting laws.

Use Sustainable Transportation

Choose walkable destinations to avoid having to use transportation. Opt for public transport if you must get around other than on foot or by bicycle. You might also rent an electric or hybrid vehicle to reduce car emissions.

Avoid Tagging Exact Locations

Overtourism has plagued many of the world’s most beautiful landmarks and natural wonders. For example, with 10,000 daily visitors among 800 residents, the small lakeside village of Hallstatt, Austria, has grappled with a population increase of 1,000%. Likewise, many remote destinations are at risk of environmental damage with too many people. To prevent further degradation, avoid tagging exact locations in social media posts — allow people to find these places independently.

Support Local Businesses

Small businesses are the heart of every community, so support the regional economy by shopping, staying and eating at local establishments. Book a room at a boutique hotel emphasizing eco-friendly initiatives and make reservations at a family-owned restaurant. This may require some research before embarking on your journey.

Volunteer Where You Travel

Every destination has volunteer opportunities for tourists to give back to the environment and local communities. For example, the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms has sites in 130 countries worldwide, including 139 hosts in Hawaii. Other volunteer programs include wildlife care, conservation projects, agriculture and construction.

Use Eco-Friendly Sunscreen

Are you heading to the beach in 2024? Check your sunscreen ingredients for oxybenzone and octinoxate — two chemicals scientists have proven to harm coral reefs. So far, seven locations have banned these products, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Palau, Thailand, vacation hotspots in Mexico and the island of Bonaire in the Netherlands.

Leave No Trace Behind

The most eco-friendly way to travel in 2024 is to make it look like you were never there. Observe nature, avoid exploiting wildlife and remain mindful of your impact. You’ll also want to dispose of and recycle all of your trash correctly.

Opt for Experiences Over Momentos

When it comes to souvenirs, skip the tourist shops and choose memorable experiences instead. A photograph of your travels is much more special than small knick-knacks. Thrill seekers may choose an adventurous activity like skydiving or bungee jumping. Otherwise, a scenic tour can be just as exhilarating.


Travel With the Planet in Mind

Everyone deserves a vacation, but it’s essential to travel sustainably to preserve the planet. Consider these eco-friendly travel tips when you book your next getaway.



About the Author:

Cora Gold is a sustainability writer who aims to live a healthy, low-waste lifestyle. Read more from Cora in Revivalist magazine, LinkedIn, and Twitter.



 

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