06 November 2023
Sustainable energy methods are now more crucial than ever as our planet struggles with the repercussions of climate change. Travelling is one of the largest causes of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and contributes heavily to our carbon footprint. There are steps we can take to reduce these emissions and lower our carbon footprint when travelling. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the value of choosing more environmentally friendly travel options and provide recommendations for eco-aware travellers. There are several features in the way you travel which can be altered to become more sustainable. From choosing sustainable destinations to packing light and reducing single-use plastic, there are numerous ways to make travelling greener and more responsible.
The biggest change we can make when it comes to more eco-friendly travel would be the destination of where we’re travelling to. Making eco-friendly travel choices is an essential initial step towards sustainable travel. These locations place great emphasis on safeguarding the environment, helping the community, and frequently using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power. By selecting such areas, you actively support the preservation of delicate ecosystems and promote responsible tourism. Some examples of some eco-friendly travel destinations would be like the Azores in Portugal, National Parks like those found in Slovenia and Croatia, mountain ranges like those found in the Alps or sustainable areas like the Canary Islands in Spain or Cinque Terre in Italy. These destinations would be more ideal for eco-tourism due to the type of activities that can be done in eco-friendly locations. These could range from activities with a low carbon footprint such as hiking and other nature-friendly activities that can be done. Aside from the type of activities that can be done, these destinations are also ideal due to the fact that they are also committed to being as sustainable and carbon neutral as possible.
Apart from the actual destination where you plan on travelling to, you can also make greener choices in terms of accommodation. Your choice of accommodation can significantly impact your carbon footprint. Sustainable accommodations often include practices which are inherently eco-friendly such as incorporating renewable energy sources, energy-efficient lighting, water-saving fixtures, and waste reduction practices. These establishments work to minimize their environmental impact as well as also supporting the local community. By selecting an accommodation which creates less emissions, you actively contribute to these efforts. Aside from the obvious benefits of staying in sustainable accommodation, there is also the added advantage that many eco-friendly accommodations offer unique and memorable experiences, such as staying in lodges deep within forests or in solar-powered cabins overlooking pristine lakes. These experiences not only enhance your travel but also inspire others to choose sustainability in their journeys.
In addition to where you intend on staying whilst on your travels, another important factor to consider would be what you pack with you and how much you pack. The benefits of packing light extend beyond your personal convenience. More often than not, we over pack and end up packing unnecessary items with us. Lighter luggage results in reduced fuel consumption by airlines, buses, or cars, which in turn leads to fewer carbon emissions. Packing light encourages efficient travel and forces you to consider your essential needs versus wants, fostering a minimalist mind-set. Remember to pack versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched, reducing the number of outfits you need to carry. Opt for high-quality, durable items that will last longer and require fewer replacements. This not only reduces waste but also saves you money in the long run.
Single-use plastics are a global environmental concern. While travelling, your actions can make a substantial difference in reducing plastic waste. By packing reusable items and being mindful of your consumption, you can significantly cut down on plastic use. These would include items like a reusable water bottle to avoid constantly buying plastic bottles which are quickly discarded, leading to more waste as a result. Another step that one could take in an attempt to be more eco-friendly would be prioritising restaurants or purchasing food from establishments which have more sustainable practices such as avoiding the use of plastic utensils, paper plates or plastic straws.
In conclusion, adopting environmentally sustainable travel habits goes beyond the simple obligation to actively contribute to the preservation of our planet. By choosing eco-tourism destinations, staying in sustainable accommodations, packing light and reducing single-use plastics you can make a meaningful contribution to environmental conservation while enjoying enriching travel experiences. In truth, it’s impossible to not cause some emissions on your travels, but at least you can make an effort to reduce them whenever you can. As a conscious traveller, you may influence the travel industry for the better and contribute to a more sustainable future for our planet.
Our GO Green Initiative
At GO plc, we’re not just a telecommunications company, we’re a group of people who connect people all over Malta and Gozo. We strive to maintain this connectivity, not just digitally, but also physically. It’s important that we take care of our physical environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same connectivity. That’s why we’ve set up GO Green, an extension of GO primarily focusing on helping sustain and improve the environment whenever possible.
This blog post was written by Benjamin Thomas Scerri – Sustainability Associate, GO Green.
Benjamin is a member of the GO Green team. His main focus is keeping track of new ways in which to make GO more sustainable wherever and whenever possible.