Today I would like to write a piece that has been particularly close to my heart for several years - travel and sustainability!
We have seen in the last couple of years due to the growing concern about climate change worldwide, travel has become a grateful victim and many people no longer want to travel or are afraid that they will be condemned when they travel. With Follow Our Steps, we wanted to better inform both ourselves and others how they can better travel sustainably.
I studied engineering with a focus on energy technology. That's why the topic of the greenhouse effect, CO2 emissions, and climate protection has played an important role in my life for over 10 years. These topics helped me develop a real passion for my study topic for the first time, and therefore I decided to deepen my understanding and thus make a contribution to our world. As I began to understand the issues surrounding these topics better it became clear to me that it is not only the energy industry that is facing fundamental change, but that each of us must make changes in our daily life in order for any meaningful change to take place.
In 2016 I saw the film "Before the Flood" by Leonardo di Caprio - an incredibly interesting and moving film about climate change, which I can only recommend everybody watch. It was during this film that I first became really aware of the fact that we can no longer just hope that politicians or big companies start to take action to save our planet. No, it is up to each and every one of us to adapt our habits, our consumer behavior and our awareness. This ranges from food, clothing, consumption in general, transportation, electricity, heating, and travel.
This realization hit me especially hard, because, as you all already know, traveling is our absolute passion. Therefore, from that point on we put all our energy into how to make travel as sustainable as possible. And it is possible, and here is how:
CO2 EMISSIONS PER PERSON BY MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
CAREFULLY CHOOSE YOUR MODE OF TRANSPORTATION:
Taking the train as a means of transportation
If long journeys cannot be avoided, there is often no alternative for the airplane - but for shorter distances there is. Here the train is often not even slower and, above all, always far better for the environment.
Also take the bus
Even before the railway, the coach is the most climate-friendly means of transport on long-distance journeys: For example, a coach emits only 32 grams of CO2 per person, while a train emits 41 grams, a car 142 grams and an airplane even 211 grams of CO2 per passenger kilometer.
Rent a bike
The bicycle is not only the cheapest means of transportation, for most short distances it is also the fastest in the city. Almost every major city in the world has rental bikes that can be booked easily with a mobile phone.
If the weather is not playing along or if there are other reasons against cycling in the city, public transport is the next best choice from an environmental point of view in order to get around within the destination in the most sustainable way.
If you rent a car
If you don't want or can't do without the car, you should think about carpooling. This not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also your wallet - simply by using car-sharing or car-sharing offers. Cars powered by electricity, natural gas and biofuels are far more environmentally friendly than diesel and petrol.
OTHER WAYS TO TRAVEL SUSTAINABLY
In the meantime, there are numerous tour operators, hotels and other accommodation facilities that pay attention to compatible and fair conditions: Bookitgreen, Ecobnb, Good Travel and Treeday - these all help you to find sustainable accommodation
Pay attention to “rubbish on the road”
Plastic bottles can easily be avoided by using your own drinking bottle.
A cloth bag is small, light and should not be missing in your Zero-Waste luggage. Whether it's a sandwich for breakfast, a portion of pasta to go or a coffee to go - especially when traveling, many people like to eat out. You don't have to do without this on zero-waste trips - you just need the right helpers, such as cutlery, lunch boxes or thermo cups. At the fast-food stand or restaurant you simply ask to fill the food into the container you brought along.
Reducing plastic waste is a priority for many people - and for good reason. But, it's also worth reducing paper waste when traveling - for example, by using digital media such as paperless train and plane tickets or eBook readers.
This idea also includes signaling to the cleaning service in hotels that you want to use towels and bed linen more than once.
Travel light and easy
Sustainable travel harmonizes perfectly with the philosophy "less is more". When packing, make sure you really only take what you actually need. For luggage you should try and choose a suitable backpack or suitcase.
And last but not least: Compensate for the emissions from your flight
Flying is probably by far the biggest climate polluter in the travel sector. The emission of CO2 and other substances at high altitudes makes flights particularly harmful to the climate. But: Damage caused by a flight can be compensated for by voluntary compensation payments. Of course, compensation for the flight is nothing more than a modern trade in indulgences. The money then flows into climate protection measures and promotes, for example, the spread of renewable energies - also in developing countries. A fair compensation for a 5h flight is less than 20 Euros. With the low airfares that people are paying, this is by no means beyond the holiday budget. Therefore we are very proud to offer you the possibility to compensate your trip directly via atmosfair.com on our website. Try the link under our itineraries directly to access this great feature.
When it comes to sustainability and travel, flying is by far the most criticized. Obviously, it is still best to not fly when you can. But, did you know that the textile industry currently generates 1.2 trillion tons of CO2 annually - more than international flights and cruises combined? The fashion industry as part of the textile industry alone is responsible for five percent of global emissions. So, while flying and travel is certainly something that we need fo focus on, there are also plenty of other ways to also reduce our emissions and contribute to being part of the solution. Additionally, lot of what we have discussed today has revolved around traveling some place far. We also want to show that a wonderful journey does not always have to be far away. That's why we offer worldwide travel for you readers, so that maybe there is something for you not only far away, but even close to home. Furthermore, we also want to show that, even if you want to travel far away, it's completely okay and doable. There are so many ways you can still travel sustainably and even offset your footprint with great projects. Finally travel and tourism leads some countries to take care to use less rubbish and plastic and dispose of it properly. Travel moves you, your environment and your fellow human beings. We hope that this article has also included some tips that can help you travel more sustainably. We hope that also in regards of sustainability you can follow our steps Laura & Chris Sources: https://www.co2online.de, https://www.focus.de, https://utopia.de,