Take Action: Preparing for Travel
Megan Michel '18, Sustainability Intern for Student Engagement
While people plan and pack for traveling, they often forget to practice sustainable behavior. Vacation presents a time to relax and explore, but it is important to keep in mind how you impact the local area even while traveling. According to the New York Times, air travel accounts for about 5% of warming in recent years and is expected to increase. No matter where you go, be mindful of how your travels impact the globe and remember to only bring items that you are willing to bring back. Here are some ways you can do just that!
REDUCE your carbon footprint. When making traveling decisions, buy your trip from companies that consider environmental, economic, and social issues. Once you get to your destination, try to use public transportation, walk, and cycle as much as possible instead of renting a car. (You’ll absorb more of the culture!) Here is a cool website for bike rentals in Europe!
REUSE bags, towels, and cups. While on vacation remember to bring your own water bottle and reusable bags for all of your drink and souvenir needs. This will cut down on the amount of plastic and paper you consume. Additionally, use your towels more than once. Today over 1.2 million live in areas of water scarcity, remember to do your part to conserve water.
RECYCLE your papers, plastics, and glass that you use while on vacation. Most major vacation areas have recycling bins and if not, ASK! If you are going on a road trip or to a more remote location for traveling, bring your own bag for recyclables. You can always take them home to make sure they are properly diverted from landfills!
RESPECT the local culture and surrounding area. Remember to immerse yourself in the local culture and learn from the differences between their culture and your own. Just because people do things a different way than you, does not mean that it is the wrong. In addition, remember to respect the natural area around you. How you interact with a local area may not have a direct impact on you, but it will have impact on the local people and organisms that live there.