Holidays and free time are important for us humans so that we can draw new strength. For some of us, a holiday is only really good and relaxing when we get out of our own four walls. Unfortunately, travel is often anything but good for the environment. In this blog post we would like to use 11 tips to show you which more environmentally friendly options are available and how you can also be more sustainable on air travel.
1. The destination
Most of us want to see a lot of the world and that's totally fine. Nevertheless, we should also look around for vacation spots in our area. Because the closer our destination is, the lower the emissions - as long as you pay attention to sustainable travel. In general, the holiday destination-travel duration ratio should be right. The further away you travel, the longer you should stay there. Also, more sustainable transportation is usually possible by traveling more locally. We also say very clearly: Give your home country a chance! How many cities do you know in the country where you live? Every country has its charm, even if it sometimes seems boring. Yes, we have to go out and want to see more, but how about a city trip by train or even bike for the next holiday?
2. Travel slowly
Travel is not a competition. You don't have to be in a different place in the world every day. As with many things in life, it is quality over quantity. Plan your trips. Think carefully about what you want to see, how you can combine different activities so that they are as sustainable as possible. Holidays should be relaxing and help you advance in your own development. We think that can hardly be combined with rushing from place to place. You get to know other countries and cultures much better if you travel slowly. This way you can process and anchor impressions better.
3. Digital travel
Tickets, travel planners, photos - all this is possible in digital form. This has the advantage that a lot of paper is saved and less waste is produced. But it's not just the environment that's happy: you don't have to carry these things around with you anymore either. In addition, the probability of losing these things in digital form is significantly lower.
4. Refrain from flying if possible
Unfortunately, air travel is the most polluting way to see the world. Even if some places can (almost) only be reached by plane, one should be aware of the impact the journey has on the environment. Airplanes have by far the highest emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition, they emit the exhaust gases directly at high altitudes and cause much more damage there.
5. More sustainable flying
Some places can (almost) only be reached by plane. We, too, would find it a pity if we were denied many beautiful places in the world because the arrival and departure is connected with a flight. It is therefore important that you fly as sustainably as possible. It's better to travel light – and it's also better for the environment. The more weight that has to be transported in the aircraft, the higher the environmental impact. There are also providers who help calculate its emissions and then offset them. One option is myclimate *: You can calculate the environmental damage caused by the flight and donate to various climate protection projects directly on the site. Of course, this does not reverse the pollutant load. However, the most sustainable way is not to fly.
6. Travel by public transport (train, coach)
The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has calculated the average emissions of individual means of transport in passenger transport. In long-distance transport, coaches and trains are the most sustainable way to travel. Over a distance of 100 km, 3.2 kg of greenhouse gases are produced per person traveling by bus and 3.6 kg by train. Sounds like a lot? With a car we are already at 13.9kg, with a flight it is 20.1kg. When it comes to other pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter), too, cars and planes are far ahead of the more environmentally friendly trains and buses. In fact, in some places you are even faster by train than by plane!
7. Local Transportation
Of course, the most sustainable way of getting around is on foot. Cycling, skateboarding or inline skating is also environmentally friendly. But even in local transport, some places are simply easier to reach with other means of transport. City trains and subways (0.64 kg per 10 km) and regular buses (0.75 kg per 10 km) emit the least greenhouse gases. Cars lose out here: With 1.4kg of greenhouse gases over 10km, they are the most environmentally harmful form of transport. If you still need to take the car from time to time, which is also legitimate, then look around for a ride. In general, for every mode of transport, the following applies: the fuller the vehicle, the more people the resulting pollutants are distributed.
8. Choose the right accommodation
Sustainable travel also includes the conscious choice of accommodation. Large hotel chains are almost never sustainable. Instead, look for local and perhaps family-run accommodation. Find out what the working conditions are like, whether the provider is committed to environmental projects or is otherwise involved.
9. Treat people, animals and nature with respect on vacation
Of course, this should not only be the case on vacation, but always. Rubbish belongs in the rubbish bin, not next to it. Leave nature as you found it or even better: go plogging on holiday or join in a clean-up. Be respectful to people and animals too. Animals are not entertainers or selfie partners. Say no to animal cruelty! And of course, the following always applies: treat those around you the way you would like to be treated.
10. Eat consciously
Instead of opting for an all-inclusive offer, you should rather support private local providers. The money stays with the locals and does not end up with large corporations. In addition, you will definitely get to know completely new food, which is much more exciting than the typical chain food that you can also find in your own country. Try eating a lot of vegan food on vacation. Depending on where you travel, you can also experiment with foods that you won't find in your own country.
11. Use resources responsibly and save waste
Even if electricity and water are calculated differently in hotels than at home, you should use resources responsibly. We must not forget that resources are a luxury in many countries around the world. So don't leave the light on when you leave the accommodation. Even an air conditioner, if available, only has to be running when you are in the room. Water doesn't have to be running all the time when brushing our teeth, and we don't have to take an unnecessarily long shower, even on vacation. So that you can avoid as much waste as possible on vacation, you should plan in advance: pack a jute bag, take a reusable drinking bottle with you and also focus on sustainability when it comes to cosmetics. Hey, by the way, do you actually know our products ? 😉 But let's be honest: With our plastic-free products, which are only packed with what is necessary, you not only save a lot of waste, but also a lot of space in your suitcase! And with that, to conclude: Traveling light is better and more sustainable.
This is our July challenge. Are you going on holiday at all this year, or do you prefer to stay at home? Tell us about your next travel destination that you are really looking forward to! Here you can go directly to the overview of our sustainability challenges . Of course, you can always do this regardless of the month. Tell us about your experiences, we would be happy!
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