Travel Eco-friendly this Summer

Summer is full of sweltering hot days, trips to the pool, and vacations. When traveling for vacation, you might have to take an airplane, which is quickly becoming the preferred method to travel. According to the World Tourism Industry (UNWTO), there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2018, which is a six percent increase from the previous year.

While traveling can be an exciting venture, it can also take a toll on the environment. From the reliance on airplanes and cars, which pour CO2 into the atmosphere, to the accumulation of plastic waste, it is easy to generate an excessive amount of pollution during your vacation. However, people are starting to be aware of their impact on the environment; the U.S. Travel Data Center found that 43 million Americans are "ecologically concerned" while traveling.

If you want to keep an eye on your environmental impact during travel but aren't sure where to start, lucky for you, Planet Aid has compiled several simple tips that will help you be an environmentally conscious traveler.

Consider Your Airline Options

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector is responsible for 29 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, the largest share of any economic sector. This may make it seem daunting to find an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, especially if you are traveling internationally, but many transportation industries are making strides to help combat their environmental impact.

For example, the airline industry is increasing its fuel efficiency while reducing their carbon footprint. The Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 are two of the latest aircraft models that are leading the way in eco-friendly air travel. The Airbus A380 cuts fuel consumption by up to 16 percent compared to older models. In general, newer aircraft models require less power for lighting, have better air filtration systems, and demonstrate more effective use of space.

If you want to ensure you are taking an eco-friendly flight, you can check out airline sustainability reports.

Utilize Public Transportation

Once you get to your destination, you'll need to decide how you are getting from place to place. While walking and riding a bike are the most sustainable and fuel-efficient methods, you might want a quicker mode of transportation. According to the Federal Transit Association, subways and metro systems produce on average 76 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions per mile than an average single-occupancy vehicle. Using public transportation also saves an average of 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline a year.

By utilizing public transportation, you can reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time. If you do need to rent a car, request an electric or fuel-efficient vehicle to further reduce your impact on the Earth.

Bring Your Own Water Bottle

Plastic waste is a major problem around the world and plastic water bottles are contributing to the issue. According to the Guardian, 1 million plastic water bottles are bought around the world every minute, and this statistic is predicted to increase by 20 percent by 2021.

Traveling can make anyone thirsty, so stay hydrated by bringing your own reusable water bottle with you. There are several eco-friendly water bottle options on the market.

Eat Locally

When traveling to another region, especially outside your own county, you will probably want to try the local cuisine. Seek out family restaurants, farmer's markers, and other local vendors when eating out. You will be supporting the local economy, and reducing the carbon footprint of your meal by not consuming processed or imported food options.

Shop Second Hand

Before you go on vacation, you want to ensure you have something to wear while you relax on the beach. Instead of spending your money on fast fashion item, which negatively impact the environment, take a stroll into your local thrift shop. Thrift stores and second-hand shops help prevent clothes from ending up in landfills and offer an affordable option for vacation outfits.

If you want to donate any clothes before or after you travel, make sure to drop off used items in one of our many large yellow bins.