You buy organic and local? You have changed you habits to be more eco-responsible but find it hard to keep them up when traveling abroad? Here is a blog that will help you be eco-friendly wherever you go.
Everyone dreams of traveling. Whether it is a relaxing holidays, incredible adventures or discovering the culture of foreign countries, we must keep in mind that traveling greatly increases our ecological footprint. That is why eco-responsible traveling is becoming more an more popular.
Transportation: How to travel?
Airplanes generate a large amount of greenhouse gases, it’s true. An aircraft can produce in one flight as much CO2 as a car would in one year. Aware of the environmental stakes, certain airlines, such as AirFrance, allow you to calculate the amount of greenhouse gases
emitted during a flight.
It is therefore important to limit air travel when possible. Traveling with a low cost airline company to a neighbouring country surely is tempting, especially when in Europe. It’s quick and affordable! However, don’t forget to take into account the extra cost for checking in luggages, the time spent going through security as well as waiting for your suitcases. There are several other ways to travel affordably while causing less impact on the environment.
Biking vs driving.
Many people choose to travel by bicycle. This allows them to get around as they please, take breaks whenever they want, change their route and enjoy the scenery. Traveling by car might be a better option depending on the kind of trip and age of the travelers. It offers the same benefits as biking and drivers can even take turns to reach their destination faster.
Public transport and carpooling
Taking the bus is also an easy way to get from one place to another and it is a lot more comfortable than you might think. Most buses have reclining seats, armrests and wifi for maximum comfort. It is also possible to travel over night, thus optimizing your days while saving on hotel fare. Another way to travel - which is very popular in Europe, yet not well know here - is carpooling. With the Blablacar app
, all you need to do is enter your departure point, destination and the desired date of travel to find drivers with whom you can ride. You will therefore travel in pleasant company. Plus it’s very safe; every driver and passenger is given a score from their fellow carpoolers, making it possible to know how their previous trips went. I personally loved the experience and even hung out with some of the people I carpooled with during my stay in a city.
As for ways to get around the city, many eco-friendly options are available. Public transit is obviously the best option since it allows you to get around town like locals do. Many cities, especially in Europe, also provide bike rental services comparable to those of Montreal's BIXIs.
Let’s talks about food
Traveling is expensive. Food options must therefore be taken into consideration. Going to restaurants to discover the local gastronomy is always exciting indeed but it can rapidly ruin a budget. This is why travelers should always bring some reusable containers and a set of utensils. This way you can take your restaurant left overs to go or you can also go to the grocery store and make your own lunches and snacks. No more polluting disposable containers!
I take this opportunity to remind you that when visiting a city or a country, it is recommended to buy local, particularly from small artisans, wether it is food or souvenirs. You will support the local economy and the environment will thank you for it!
Where to sleep?
Now, lets talk about lodging. For an eco-friendly stay, many hotels now have an environmental certification such as Green Key Global.
If the hotel you choose is not certified, simple things can be done such as asking not to change your towels every day. Indeed, towel laundering requires a lot of water and the use of products that have a high impact on the environment.
To fully appreciate and immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting, you can also spend the night at a local’s home. You can find on the CouchSurfing website
people who can host you for a night or more. Some will even share meals with you and give you good advice on the best places to discover in their area. Sharing will be at the rendez-vous guarantied! And also don’t forget to bring a gift for the host. Although not mandatory, it is highly recommended.
Finally, dealing with a travel agency is not necessary in order to make an eco-friendly trip. All you need to do is to be aware of your environmental footprint and keep in mind all these little tips which will make your stay outside Quebec more eco-friendly.
By Melissa Rodriguez