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5 Top Tips for Environmentally Friendly Travel

From experiencing new cultures, to trying out new foods, meeting new people and exploring your adventurous side, travelling broadens our horizons and helps us to appreciate the world we live in. The flip side of being a travel enthusiast, however,  is that all of this leaves a carbon footprint. To get you travelling greener, we spoke to the cultural experts at language-learning app, Babbel, to give you five insider tips for your next trip.

1. Pack reusable items
Before even setting off, make sure to pack all of the essential reusables you’ll need, whether shampoo, conditioner, or body lotion container, to your thermos mug and water bottle; if you don’t own such items, it’s time to hit the mall. Not only is using reusables a more environmentally friendly way to cut back on single-use trash, it’s also more cost efficient. 

2. Get your steps in, bike, or take public transit 
Try walking, biking or using local transportation over private taxis while you travel. These options will reduce your carbon footprint, keep the purse strings tight if you’re on a budget and help you to explore the place you’re visiting more fully – taking in the scenery and soaking up the culture. 

3. Take the train over the plane
Just as taking a taxi can have that fast, easy and efficient appeal, planes travelling short distances can have that same allure for those travelling to multiple destinations. As we know, however, planes are not environmentally friendly. While the train is more time consuming, many rail routes are incredibly scenic and are an experience in-and-of themselves. If flying is the only option available, remember that every pound you pack counts and contributes to the weight of the plane, so pack only what you need.

4. Do your research!
This is two-tier: where you choose to stay and what you choose to do. 

Accommodation: Many hotels and hostels are moving towards renewable energy and waste reduction trends, which help reduce their carbon footprint. When booking your accommodation, investigate your options and choose an eco-friendly place. Where and if you can, opt out of having your towels and sheets replaced every day.

Excursions: Be sceptical when it comes to booking tours –  some companies don’t necessarily respect local cultures, history, or the environment. Do your research, check online reviews and take a quick gander into the background of the activities you’re planning to do, to ensure that the companies you choose to spend your money with aren’t potentially exploitative.  

5. Drink and eat locally
Locally sourced food and beverages are transported less far than imported items, helping to keep that environmental footprint at bay. Support local restaurants and bars and indulge in some of the homegrown goodies from the place you’re visiting—your taste buds and the environment will thank you.


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