The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a 7% drop in global carbon emissions. Sadly, since the lockdowns have ended, the emissions rebounded like a tennis ball and even reached a record high in 2022. We all play a part in resolving this climate crisis. So before you book your next air ticket, here are 11 ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Mother Nature will thank you for it.
1. FLY LESS
Flying is one of the major culprits of carbon emissions, but it is also a key factor in helping us to discover the world. Responsible air travel means flying less (taking more trains), staying longer at your holiday destination and avoiding transit flights (taking off and landing accounts for 25% of airplane emissions).
2. BUY ECONOMY
It may be a small compromise of comfort, but economy seats require less space and allow more people on the same flight. Every bit accumulates to make a huge difference. Plus, you can use the extra bucks saved to indulge in a treat after.
3. PICK NEWER AIRCRAFTS
Choose airlines that offer the latest range of aircraft such as A350 and A787. These carbon fiber planes are more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon. Look further by buying from the airlines that are reducing their impact on the environment such as reducing single-use plastics.
4. PACK LIGHT
Less weight = less emissions. And also, less waste you will leave behind. Instead of disposables, go for more sustainable products like eco-friendly soaps and shampoos, and other items like reusable cotton swabs, water bottles and travel utensils. Bring your own bathroom slippers too!
5. CHOOSE TRANSPORT WISELY
Some places, such as St. Anton am Arlberg from Zurich Airport, are easily accessible by train or buses, so go for it. If renting a vehicle saves you time and nerves, especially when travelling with young kids, choose hybrid or electric cars.
6. STAY AT ECO-FRIENDLY PLACES
By staying at local accommodations with green practices, not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you are also contributing to the local economy and investing in the community. Simply contact the hotel or check its website to find out about their green initiative before booking.
7. SUPPORT LOCAL
Eat out at local restaurants, buy locally made souvenirs, and choose local guides and small businesses that are based at your destination. A bit of research goes a long way. Fully catered chalets may not give you a chance to explore the local culture and delicacies.
8. AVOID FOOD WASTE
Prioritise buying groceries at the farmers’ markets over big supermarket chains. Choose accommodation where leftovers from breakfast buffets are handled consciously instead of being thrown away. Bring along a reusable container while dining out so that when you can’t finish your food, you will always have something to take it away with.
“Nothing is more important than keeping the positive attitude and passing on the message to your family, friends and colleges.”
9. EAT SEASONAL FOOD
The benefits are plenty! Seasonal produce is fresher, tastes better and usually have no pesticides and preservatives. Not only are they cheaper and contain more nutrients, they are also mostly locally produced and have substantially less carbon footprint.
10. CUT MEAT & DIARY
Shift to more plant-based meals that are available at your vacation spot. Besides enjoying more health benefits, you get to also help fight climate change, air, soil and water pollution, ocean dead zones, and mitigate other problems caused by industrial livestock production.
11. PASS IT ON
Of course, everyone can their part in making travelling more sustainable. And nothing is more important than keeping a positive attitude and passing on the message to your family, friends and colleges. Even a quick share on Instastory helps!