How to Reduce Your Travel Footprint

August 15th, 2010 | by Ashyln Molly

Travel is one of the largest contributors to an individual’s carbon footprint. From commuting to work, travelling for business or for pleasure, travelling has a notoriously large environmental footprint. However, you can reduce your footprint to minimize the impact your travelling has in several ways.

Travel Intelligently by Planning Ahead

Planning ahead means you can organise your trip as efficiently as possible, such as not travelling at rush hour and also arrange meetings to minimise the amount of time travelling. If it is convenient planning one trip for both work and for personal use can reduce the need for travelling back and forth from a city.

Go Public or Get Pedalling

Taking public transport reduces emissions and takes cars off of the road, thereby easing congestion. If you need to use a car, to work for example, think of setting up a car-pooling scheme at your workplace to share the journey, and the emissions. If you live close enough to work, why not walk or bike to work, saving money at the same time.

Turn the Power Off

When you leave home, make sure you’ve turned off all of the appliances you can as well as turning the thermostat to as low as possible. This ensures you’re not creating emissions from your home when you’re out and about. It’s a simple step but makes a big change.

Staying in the Green

When looking for hotels, choose a green or eco-friendly option if one is available. And regardless of where you stay, using services responsibly – turning off the air-conditioning and lights when not in the room, avoiding too long showers and not changing linen daily – can go a long way.

Carbon Offsetting

If you’re a true environmentalist or a flyer who feels particularly in touch with the environment you can carbon offset your personal emissions. Carbonfund.org allows you to make donations to projects that are sustainable, carbon reduction programs, from hydroelectric to methane energy production and is a great way to help sustainability projects. Don’t let offsetting programs distract you from reducing your emissions though, always aim to reduce them.

These are a few steps you can take to reduce your travel footprint. Travelling doesn’t have to be as environmentally damaging and the above changes will help you to start reducing your individual emissions.

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