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11 tips to make your next trip more ecofriendly

by The Storytellers MTL

Living through climate changes, our generation is more aware than ever about the importance of taking care of our planet. Vegan nutrition, minimalist consumption, green lifestyle and zero waste are now part of our recurring topics of discussion and our daily habits. However, we’re also the generation of wanderlusts. We have access to more remote destinations more easily and we often choose jobs that allow us to stay nomadic for a few weeks or months per year. This thirst for life and adventure characterizes us, but sometimes conflicts with our environmental aspirations.

So, here are 11 tips to make your next trip as ecofriendly as possible, before, during and even after your stay! Traveling responsibly isn’t complicated, that’s a promise!

 

Before leaving

Traveling smart first starts at home. Here are 3 easy things to do for the planet before you go on your next vacation.

 

Crédit: STIL/Unsplash

 

1. Pack lightly

Bring the bare necessities, the heavier the suitcases, the more the plane consumes gas. Choose comfortable clothes that are suitable for the conditions of the country you’re visiting and that can be easily matched with each other. You can also use transport cubes to maximize the space in your suitcase if you need more varied clothes to face different climates on your journey.

 

2. Choose ecofriendly objects

Bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones at the airport. It seems simple and obvious, but yet by leaving home quickly to catch your flight it’s easily forgotten. You can also bring reusable bags that will be useful during your excursions or when you go grocery shopping.

 

3. Press on pause

Don’t forget to turn off the heating before leaving home as well as unplugging electronic devices that won’t be used during your absence to avoid unnecessary energy costs.

 

During your trip

4. Mix your transportation method and travel locally

Traveling doesn’t necessarily mean flying. If you plan to make a trip to a nearby destination, you can opt for the train or bus that are more energy efficient than planes or cars for shorter distances. In addition to not having to worry about driving during your journey, the train will allow you to admire amazing landscapes and you’ll even be able to work during the trip if you need to.

Here is a short list of interesting local destinations for your responsible summer trip:

 

bruce-peninsula

Crédit: The Storytellers MTL

 

5. Choose direct flights

If you have to fly, try to choose the most direct flights to your destination to save time, but also to reduce your impact by using less fuel. It’s certain that for many countries, it can be quite difficult to find direct flights, especially from Montreal. However, when you can do it, don’t hesitate.

 

6. Reduce your ecological footprint and save resources

If your accommodation is in a hotel, think of staying there as if you were at home. This means reusing your bath towels and closing the lights, air conditioning and heating when you leave for the day. We had an excellent example of this practice during our stay at the Fairmont Château Frontenac who invites guests staying 2 nights or more to decline daily housekeeping visits. In return, one tree per night is planted on behalf of the client in the heart of the Montmorency Forest!

 

chateau-frontenac-quebec

Crédit photo: The Storytellers MTL

 

7. Choose an ecofriendly accommodation

When you search for ecofriendly accommodation, look carefully at the information they provide. For example, if the hotel meets international energy standards such as LEED or if it uses electrical or solar panels to power their facilities. AirBnb offers several alternatives like this kind of ecofriendly housing that we found for our honeymoon in Tulum.

Whether in Quebec or abroad, this type of home is becoming more and more common and can bring another dimension to your travel experience. We were also able to experience it during our weekend at the Vertendre, with their responsible establishment mostly powered by solar energy.

 

8. Consume as locally as possible

You can also have a positive impact on the environment by consuming more local products during your stay. Shop at traditional markets to encourage local merchants while eating fresh foods that didn’t crossed hundreds of kilometers in the back of a truck. Also try to eat vegetarian or vegan as much as possible if you want to be even greener. If you want a good beer, opt for the local flavor rather than for imported brands. This way, you can taste the country’s specialty and it’s always more fun than to stay stuck in the habits we have at home.

 

fruit-market-phuket

Crédit: The Storytellers MTL

 

9. Explore your ecofriendly options

For your transportation on site, opt for walking, cycling or public transit when it’s possible to do so. If you absolutely have to rent a car, do some research to see if it’s possible to use a hybrid or compact car instead of big polluting SUVs. Of course, some destinations require the rental of this type of vehicles, if you want to avoid being caught in the middle of nowhere like in Iceland or Costa Rica, where an all-terrain vehicle is essential. However, it’s always good to inquire in case other environmentally friendly options are available.

 

10. Help the planet a little

If you only have a few vacation days, this ain’t probably the first thing that comes to mind when you travel, but it might be the best way to optimize your experience and get out of your comfort zone while giving some love to the planet. From cleaning the sea floor to taking care of animals in a shelter, a small effort often makes a big difference for most organizations and communities.

 

11. Purchase carbon credits

To compensate for the CO2 emissions generated by your plane flights, you can also opt to purchase carbon credits. Several companies offer a tree planting service linked to the purchase of carbon credits to reduce your ecological footprint. Other organizations also allow investment in programs dedicated to renewable energies or the reduction of greenhouse gases. However, it’s always important to do your research carefully to ensure the legitimacy and commitments of the chosen project.

That’s it! You’re ready to explore the world in a more ecofriendly way now!

We wish you great getaways and wonderful future trips!

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