Seeing new things, experiencing new cultures, and supporting local economies that rely on tourism for much of their income are just some of the benefits of traveling. But its benefits do not erase the fact that traveling produces more emissions than staying home. This doesn’t mean you can never travel! Here’s a list of ways to lower your emissions while traveling.
You don't have to fly across an ocean to have an adventure! Hop a train, get on a sailboat, or go for a short drive to lower emissions while seeing somewhere new.
While on your trip, stay local. Walk when possible or take public transportation. Not only will you save fuel, but you'll also get a richer experience and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
Bring toiletries from home to prevent using the complimentary mini ones that many hotels provide. Bring a reusable water bottle and travel mug to cut down on waste production.
Many hotels have some way to denote that you do not require your room to be refreshed every day. Opt out of daily housekeeping to save on water for washing your linens, electricity from vacuuming, and paper/plastic products from restocking your room.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the things you can do to lower your impact while traveling, but it is a good start. That being said, it is not up to individuals to fix the system. The travel industry needs to undergo significant changes to lower its emissions and lessen its environmental impact.
In 2020, airline travel was cut by roughly 50% due to the beginning of the pandemic. The airline industry was unintentionally significantly reducing its total emissions. This is something it should keep doing! Offering fewer flights will drastically reduce the number of emissions that airlines produce. This would also open many people up to alternative, lower-impact modes of transportation.
We will still need to travel, but why not challenge ourselves to follow this rule of thumb? If you don’t have to fly, don’t. Aim to halve the flights you take in a year. And if you can cut it by more, that’s even better! By choosing to fly less, we are showing airlines that we do not want constant flights. We are grateful that you keep Icebug accountable. Now we ask your help to do the same to the travel industry!