When it comes to traveling more sustainably, most of us, by now, are aware of some basic things to consider. As we seek to travel more mindfully, however, opting out of daily towel change and offsetting the carbon emissions of our flights is simply not enough. So what else should we consider to make our travels greener?
Given the diversity of destinations, there is no one size fits all recipe for sustainable travel. Different destinations offer different opportunities. However, there are universal things to consider when traveling. For example, supporting the local economy rather than large corporations will have a positive impact on local communities.
Pack Light and Sustainably
Depending on where you go and what activities you plan, it can be wise to think ahead and pack reusable utensils such as a reusable water bottle, a cotton bag, and reusable containers for your toiletries. This way you help prevent unnecessary waste. To tackle the issue, some of our hotels like HoY in Paris offer sustainable, reusable items for purchase in their hotel shop.
Chose Your Mode of Transport Wisely
An eco-friendlier trip starts with choosing how to get to your destination because the distance and mode of transport determine your carbon footprint. So when you have to fly, choose direct flights. The majority of emissions is released at takeoff and landing. As more and more airlines add sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to their system, opt for an airline that has the highest percentage of eco fuels.
Of course, public transportation such as trains, subways, and trams are the cleanest option to get around. Select public transport options whenever possible. At your destination, it’s worth renting a bicycle to explore your surroundings. Some hotels like Coco-Mat Athens BC offer their wooden signature bikes to explore the city.
Eat Local, Organic and Plant-Based
Get to know the local food culture by eating in restaurants that source their produce from nearby farms. You might be surprised how many city hotels offer fresh groceries from their own garden or farm, like Michelberger Hotel in Berlin that runs its own biodynamic farm outside of the city.
Sleep Local and Green
When looking for places to travel, consider destinations that are green – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council has a list of member destinations.
Book smaller, locally owned accommodations. On Select Green Hotels, we feature only individual hotels and small hotel groups, the smallest hotel, Ecocirer in Mallorca, having only six rooms to offer. This way, you know exactly to whom your money goes and you’ll also have a way more authentic experience without having to compromise on luxury.
Discover Local Culture
The purpose of traveling is to discover new places and experience different cultures. For a more authentic experience, book a local tour guide when visiting sights. Buy souvenirs from local artisans and enjoy traditional cuisine. As a rule of thumb for making greener choices, choose small businesses over a large corporation. This way, you’re money spent will go to the local community.
Be Mindful of the Environment
The saying “leave nothing but footprints” can be put into action anywhere. At beaches, for example, avoid littering but instead take part in the take 5 rule: every time you visit a beach take five plastic items off the beach. When using sunscreen use a mineral filter and be sure it is not harmful to coral reefs.
We hope these sustainable travel tips gave you some new ideas and guidance on how to make your travels greener. For questions regarding eco-friendly travel in general or one of our hotels, feel free to contact us anytime on Instagram or via E-mail.