With more places abroad facilitating eco-friendly practices than ever before, traveling green has never been more doable. Nevertheless, when it comes to sustainability, not all locations are created equal. If you want to minimize your environmental footprint, support sustainable communities, and have the trip of a lifetime, it’s practical to keep several key factors in mind during your search for the perfect destination.
If you’re planning on thoroughly exploring a city while sparing the environmental cost of driving or taking a cab, you’ll want to do some background research on available methods of public transportation. Many cities offer relevant info through municipal websites, and travel forums can also shed light on possible options. Those feeling up to a bit of exercise might consider renting a bike or walking more than they otherwise might.
Luckily for green travelers, the cheapest places to stay are often the most eco-friendly. Camping is always a good choice, especially when the weather is mild. Hostels are also usually less impactful than full-fledged hotels. If all else fails, certain hotels emphasize sustainable energy and environmental standards.
Picturesque parks, clear lakes, or a few nice hiking trails make for ideal scenery, and great entertainment. Few things are more enjoyable than a summer morning swim, followed by a hike past rolling hills, ice-capped mountains, or gorgeous greenery. If you’re crazy about the outdoors, look for a place with plentiful choices for green recreation.
Some towns are spread out wide, making walking between accommodations and attractions difficult. In these cases, it may be best to find lodgings in an area where activities of interest are as concentrated as possible, as walking is an effective way to lower overall impact.
Supporting the local economy is a core component of green travel. Doing so could be difficult in cities with chains such as McDonalds or Subway far outnumbering unique restaurants, grocers, and local shops. Getting in touch with the culture of the area involves stepping beyond the familiar, so places where fast food isn’t the dominant food option are usually preferable.
Plastic continues to pile high in landfills across the globe; thankfully, recycling is also being adopted on a widespread scale. Many villages and small towns have implemented recycling programs. If you do end up somewhere with no recycling policy, bringing along reusable items can cut down on waste.
Green travel is about more than just packing light, or taking the bus when you can. Spending some time absorbed in the culture of an area is essentially what going green is all about; lessening your environmental impact is simply a way of preserving the beauty that surrounds a culture, and opening yourself to situations in which you may need to leave your comfortable bubble.