Updated: Dec 11, 2020
MINIMIZE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT AND MAXIMIZE YOUR POSITIVE IMPACT
Most travelers don’t even realize that many tourist shops, hotels, restaurants, and tour companies in popular travel destinations may not be owned by locals. That means that the destination and its residents absorb the negative impact of tourism, but the economic benefit is exported elsewhere.
With over 1.4 billion people traveling the world, it’s never been more important to make conscious decisions about how you travel and where your dollars go. One way to bring awareness to limiting your negative impact is by looking up your carbon footprint. According to MyClimate.org, a roundtrip economy flight from NY to Rome, with a layover in Paris, puts 2.3 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s more carbon dioxide than many people produce in a full year.
A passenger on a cruise ship emits 3x as much carbon as they would on land. As if that weren’t bad enough, cruise ships often dump trash, fuel, and sewage into our oceans’ already-struggling ecosystems.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! Luckily, there are so many easy and fun ways to offset your environmental impact when you travel (besides avoiding cruises altogether)!
For example, through Myclimate you can offset your carbon emissions by funding the purchase of energy efficient cookstoves in Rwanda, a solar power installation in the Dominican Republic, or replace old heating systems with energy efficient heat pumps in Switzerland. The organization Cotap plants trees in India, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Nicaragua. Terrapass funds projects in the U.S. that utilize farm animal waste, install wind power, and capture landfill gases to generate electricity. To calculate the impact of your trip and choose a way to offset it, use this calculator.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Let’s dive into 10 Tips on How to Travel Sustainably!