2020 is the year to travel more environmentally friendly.
Follow our 6 travel tips to minimize your climate footprint on your next vacation.
Never before have we traveled as much across borders as we do today. The usual 'south' such as Gran Canaria or Greece has for many been replaced with more 'exotic' destinations such as Vietnam and Cuba. But this tends to mean longer itineraries, and specifically longer flights.
At the same time, climate change is more real than ever before and the need to live more environmentally friendly urgency. One of the major verses for climate change and global warming is carbon emissions, where flights make up a significant sum. For example, a flight to Cuba provides three times the carbon emissions as a trip to Greece, making up more than 2.2 tons. The average annual emissions per person worldwide are around 4 tonnes.
Many will think that one is at the expense of the other, that one must either stop traveling or stop being environmentally friendly. This doesn't have to be the scenario, and there are several ways to make sure you travel more environmentally friendly.
Because many of our customers love to travel, and often store their stuff in our warehouse stalls while renting out the apartment on Airbnb or in our Manhattan Lockers for shorter trips, we've gathered some great tips on how to travel more sustainably.
1. Choose your holiday destination wisely
Before you decide on your next journey or your next adventure, think about how you can get there. What will your carbon spill look like? For example, have you considered being a tourist in your own country and perhaps taking the wonderful Flåm Railway?
Check how environmentally friendly the place you will travel to and the places you want to stay are. Source it is sorted at the hotel and is it environmentally certified? Does the country or area you are going to spend on sustainable development and is it easy as a tourist to choose environmentally friendly alternatives to food and transport?
Think about the time of year you want to travel, and whether this is 'off-peak' or in the middle of the tourist season. Overtourism has been documented to do great damage to nature, wildlife and sometimes the infrastructure of cities. It is therefore worth considering whether you can travel outside the busiest times.
Feel free to choose a place to explore by foot or bike once you have arrived. Many say it is more valuable to travel to a place you can stay for an extended period of time, and get to know the locals and culture properly. The longer you stay one place can also mean saving money, and therefore a longer holiday!
2. Select train and bus over plane
These days, heavy air travel is one of the largest environmental verses. As we have mentioned above, a return trip to Cuba may surpass the annual average emissions worldwide. Norway is at the very top of the table when it comes to annual flights per kapita, and is actually the fifth worst country in Europe with an average of 0.24 flights per person a year.
One of the best choices you can make to travel more environmentally friendly is therefore to take trains or buses instead of flying. Even if it takes longer, a train journey also means you can experience so many things along the way.
If you've already decided on a long itinerary, you can get rid of some flight shame by planting a tree or paying for carbon allowances with Carbonfund. As Norway have such a high private carbon emissions per person, any choice to avoid aircraft or pay carbon quotas can make a difference.
3. Buy and eat short-lived food while traveling
Regardless of whether you are in a big city or small village - always try to shop short-lived food. This is how you support locals while being much more sustainable than choosing something imported from far. When you first visit a new place, it's always exciting to try out the local kitchen with seasonal ingredients.
This also applies to souvenirs. Make sure that the carpet, painting or jewellery are actually local products produced by local artists. This way you contribute to the economy where you are, instead of giving your money to businesses that might be taking advantage of the culture and tradition of others.
4. Reduce littering with reusable equipment
Bring your coffee cup, straws and water bottles that can be washed and used back up. How to reduce your own littering and avoid excessive use of cardboard and plastic. Another tip is to bring your own travel towel, which dries quickly and takes up little space in the pack.
When you're packing and noticing that there's something you're missing, you can always ask friends or family if they can lend anything instead of buying new ones. If they have their stuff in a storage room at Flexistore, they can easily share the digital key by email or phone.
5. Limit the use of electricity and water
Always familiarize yourself with consumption habits when you travel to a new location and learn how to minimize the use of electricity and water. In some places may have water restrictions, and then it is important to stay within these frameworks.
Several cities and countries with drought challenges see that tourism often becomes a problem because the state cannot have a full overview of their consumption. Therefore, make sure that you read up on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs's travel advice before you get on the train or plane.
6. Learn from those you meet - and bring that lesson home
Norway is one of the largest consumer countries in the world, and this is especially because we can afford it Norway. , electricity, travel and other benefits.
One of the most valuable things we take home after a journey is the conversations and experiences we've had from meeting new people. This lesson we get from others we can take home and share with your neighbor, colleague or friend who may not travel very often.
It is important to remember that we all make a difference when it comes to climate change and carbon emissions, and a lot can be saved when it comes to travel habits. Make 2020 the year you travel more sustainable.