How to reduce the environmental impact of traveling
When looking for a place to stay, look for accommodations that utilize various sustainability standards. This may include facilities that use renewable energies or are a part of coalitions that are striving to reduce waste in all aspects of their operations. Use the Global Sustainable Tourism Council's list of trusted standards used in different countries as a guide.
Just like at home, traveling is an opportunity to think carefully about what you consume and how. Reduce your overall water footprint by opting for "green choice" programs to reuse your towels and sheets during your stay.
Bring your own items, like a reusable coffee cup, water bottle and other utensils. Foldable cups, bottles and utensils are ideal for most business baggage and are a great way to impress clients and colleagues. More impactfully, change your dietary choices by opting for red meat-free or plant based meals.
Whether flying, on the ground, or in your room, small is generally better. If you must fly, get better carbon savings by staying in economy. If you can't take a train or bus and need to take a car (taxi, ride-hailing, or otherwise) opt to pool, and look for a small hybrid, or ideally an electric vehicle (EV).
If we cannot avoid certain negative impacts in what we do, we must always search for ways to mitigate those impacts. Many Global Shapers are starting to explore ways to embed sustainable travel in both our individual and organisational practices. The climate crisis and environmental challenges around the world require both individual and collective action. We can and must leverage our positions in society to create the baseline of expectations for living in balance with the planet. As the old saying goes, we must be the change we wish to see in the world.
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