20 Green Travel Tips - Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly While Traveling

Green travel, commonly known as ecotourism strives to lessen our carbon footprint while exploring new areas around the world. Green travel attempts to reduce one’s negative impact on the destination as much as possible.

You may not believe that your actions will have a large enough influence on Mother Nature, but the more people who adopt these eco-friendly practices, the more these changes may have a collective impact. That said, check out 20 green tips to help you travel sustainably, from hotel stays to hiking to travel.

Photo by @daily.travelpix

  1. Book non-stop flights as much as possible.Takeoffs and landings are responsible for most of an airplane’s carbon emissions.
  2. Journeying somewhere within driving distance? Try taking a roadtrip with a group to reduce gas usage. If your car isn’t environmentally friendly, rent a hybrid or electric car which utilizes less gas and produces less carbon emissions.
  3. If you’re traveling alone, it’s actually more ecological to travel by plane. According to Green Global Travel, the best way to fly is by “one of the 30+ IATA (International Air Transport Association) member airlines who offer carbon offset programs to neutralize the aircraft’s carbon emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects.”
  4. Make sure the hotel or resort you will be staying at has a recycling program including solar power, wind turbines, energy-efficient light and low-flow toilets.
  5. Take shorter showers (not baths) and don’t keep the water running while lathering up or brushing your teeth.
  6. When staying at a hotel, be sure to hang your towel up after each use since it isn’t necessary to wash your towels on a daily basis.
  7. Always turn off the lights, AC and television when leaving your room.
  8. Put a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside your door to limit the amount of chemical agent usage, washing of linens/towels, and vacuuming.
  9. Use public transportation, bike, or walk if possible to reduce gas usage.
  10. Recycle maps and brochures so other travelers may use them instead of throwing them out.
  11. Treat yourself and bring any remaining soap, toothpaste and shampoo home with you, as these are typically thrown away. You can also reuse the containers!
  12. As wanderlust as your travels may be, stick to the hiking trails when venturing out to avoid destroying native flora.
  13. Carry a small garbage bag along hikes to avoid littering and be a good samaritan by picking up trash that isn’t yours.
  14. Retrain from purchasing products garnered from endangered species/plants, unsustainable materials and ancient artifacts.
  15. Buy handmade, locally sourced products rather than imported items that are shipped/flown across the globe leaving a larger carbon footprint.
  16. Ditch plastic bags for good and travel with a reusable bag.
  17. As much beauty and amazing cuisine that you take in, don’t forget to give back! Volunteer as at a local school, orphanage or other non-profit to help make a difference while you travel.
  18. When snorkeling or scuba diving, do not touch the coral or stir up sediment since it can damage the reef’s fragile ecosystem.
  19. Don’t partake in tour that promotes “hands-on” encounters with animals such as riding elephants. You do not want to support an industry that illegally captures and abuses millions of animals.
  20. Be aware on how tour operators give back to local communities. Many tourist attractions take resources away from locals and don’t hire locals. Community-based tourism is key!