8 tips to help you reduce your CO₂ footprint
Reducing our CO₂ footprint when we travel has become a priority for most of us. Flying less is one simple way to do this, but if you want to discover far-off destinations like the USA, Canada or Vietnam, plane travel is usually the only viable option. Still, there are ways to make your trip more sustainable. Here you will find some energy-saving travel tips, from choosing the most eco-friendly airline to ticking the proper option when submitting your visa application.
1- Choose your carrier well.
With bad air quality increasingly being a threat to public health, it is time we reconsider the way we fly. A good way to offset your carbon footprint is by selecting an eco-friendly airline using renewable biofuels. This kind of fuels are derived from biomass (plants, algae material or animal and agricultural waste) and their use can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. The good news is that more and more carriers, such as American Airlines, KLM or Lufthansa are investing in these kinds of fuels.
2- Take a direct flight
Aside from using an eco-friendly airline, you can also reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding flights with stopovers. Most of the time, they make diversions, and they also release a larger amount of CO₂ due to multiple take-offs. Although most times direct flights are more expensive, it is something worth doing for the sake of the planet.
3- Be sustainable when applying for your visa.
Another possibility to compensate the CO₂ emissions of your flight is to support organizations like GreenSeat, which invest in climate projects. All of GreenSeat’s projects meet international criteria and actually compensate for the calculated amount of CO₂. You can support this institution when submitting your electronic visa application, like the ESTA for the United States, the eTA Canada or the visa Vietnam. If you click the CO2 offset option, you will be charged an amount based on the flight distance of your flight, and this amount will be then donated to Greenseat.
- Avoid Business class
Flying economy class is actually more sustainable than flying business class. Business class travellers produce larger carbon footprints than economy fliers, There are two reasons for this: economy class carries more people in less space and is thus more energy-efficient. Secondly, the amount of water being used and the quantity of waste being produced in business airport lounges is much higher than that of economy class.
You should also try to pack light. The more weight an aeroplane has to carry, the more fuel it will use. Pack your luggage as light as possible to reduce the amount of fuel used and thus decrease your CO2 footprint. Research has showed that by lightening your luggage by 15 pounds you would decrease your emissions by about 80 pounds on a ten-hour flight!
- Spare energy and water
Maybe you never thought about this, but travellers often use an incredible amount of energy and water that negatively impacts the lives of locals. Whereas two billion people in the world don’t have access to clean running water, a luxury hotel guest alone can use up to 1 800 litres of water per night. Choose hotels who have a sustainable approach to water conservation, this can have much more impact than simply washing less towels.
- Bring your own water bottle
Plastic waste might not be an issue in Europe or North America, but developing countries like India or Vietnam are truly suffering from huge amounts of plastic rubbish in their oceans and waterways. One of the easiest ways to avoid contributing to create plastic waste is to invest in your own reusable water bottle.
8- Behave responsibly at your destination
Sustainable travel does not have to stop with flying with an eco-friendly company or choosing the CO₂-compensation on your application form for the eTA Canada, the ESTA for the United States or the Visa Vietnam. You can also make a contribution in the country itself by being considerate of nature and the local population. By doing this, you can do your bit to improve the climate and save energy.
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