Reducing the traveler's carbon footprint
Travel will inevitably cause pollutants. But let's not leave it at that. Here are suggested ways to be a responsible traveler.
Reducing the traveler’s carbon footprint
Whether you love to travel or find it a necessity of doing business, there is no denying that air travel creates a lot of pollution. From the flight itself to the demands of hotel life, energy consumption and the emission of pollutants is rife. But just because there is an inevitability to the pollution problem doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to mitigate the impact. We at VOCIER certainly travel enough to feel the need to find ways to offset our carbon footprint. Here are a few of our suggestions.
When there is no choice but to fly
Now that video conferences are extremely easy to set up even from the convenience of your mobile phone, it is possible to avoid traveling to certain meetings that can just as easily be done over Skype or Facetime. However, there are unavoidable face to face meetings, or perhaps occasions where you have to go to inspect materials in person. For those instances, try to double up on meetings with different clients in the same city. That way you can often avoid a new trip in the near future.
Choose environmentally aware airlines
When you are facing one of those essential flights, take care to go with an airline that has committed to improving its own polluting footprint. Airlines like British Airways and Lufthansa have committed to cutting net CO2 emissions while investing in future green solutions. In 2006, Lufthansa made a commitment that by 2020 they would reduce their CO2 emissions by 25% compared to 2006 levels. It will be interesting to see in just a year’s time how well they have succeeded.
Then when planning a trip, try to fly the larger planes on nonstop flights. Larger planes are typically more efficient per passenger than smaller planes. And nonstop flights reduce the surge in greenhouse gas emissions that result from takeoffs and landings.
Be ecologically efficient when you arrive
Once you land, you can make several decisions that will help reduce your contribution of pollutants. When taking a taxi to your hotel, choose one that uses green energy, either electric or natural gas. Alternatively, if you are in a city that offers reliable public transport, that is an even more environmentally friendly option.
Book environmentally friendly hotels
Perhaps 20 years ago, no one gave a second thought to how wasteful daily life at a business-oriented hotel could be. Sheets and towels would be washed daily, using up huge amounts of water and electricity. Lights and TVs stay on in empty rooms, food waste from uneaten buffets, and any number of additional cavalier misuse of resources were normal. Now it is possible to choose hotels that make a point of using ecologically sound practices. By installing technology such as low-flow toilets and shower heads, these hotels help you save resources without curtailing your activities. You can also make certain your sheets and towels are not changed and washed daily. Don’t leave your lights on, or run the air conditioner too high when you are away for the day. These are all generally good practices to keep in mind for your home life, but the importance is magnified when every hotel occupant follows the same eco-friendly code.
Go green when you get home
When you get home, it is even easier to offset your travel carbon footprint by adopting some new ways of being less wasteful. These are solutions that won’t only help the environment, they will help you feel more comfortable. For instance, make sure your home is well insulated. That will help you stay more comfortable while reducing heating and air conditioning bills. And if you can do without the air conditioner all together by learning how to keep your house naturally cool in the summer months, that would be a huge contribution. Use energy efficient appliances. Quality ovens, washing machines, and dishwashers are all now programmed to be efficient in energy and water consumption. And if you can air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer, that is better for the environment and better for the longevity of your clothes.
Eat green, take the bike
Reducing your meat and dairy intake will go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint. Raising cattle for their meat and milk, as natural as it may seem, is a huge contributor to the global CO2 emissions. Cutting a large portion of your meat and cheese out of your diet will have a big impact on your personal carbon footprint. And when you look to fill in the blanks left by red meat in your diet, look to eat locally produced and seasonal fruits, vegetables, and legumes. A healthier diet will not only lead to a healthier planet, but a healthier you. Commuting to your office either by public transport or even better, by bicycle will free you from the confines of your polluting car. You will be moving more which will also increase the health benefits of your green lifestyle.
Recycle as much as possible
It is common practice these days to have easy access to plastic, paper, and glass recycling facilities. By all means, use these facilities, but don’t stop there. Most communities have access to all sorts of types of recycling services. Don’t throw your old sofa in a dump, donate it or send it to a recycling facility that will make the best reuse of each component of the furniture.
Make smart purchases
Avoid being overly wasteful in your purchases. Don’t engage in single-wear fashion trends. And for your travels, buy quality luggage. VOCIER bases its production values on the efficiency and longevity of our products. So whether it is the F38 or new Avant line, each piece will be functional for multiple types of trips and be durably reliable for many years of hard travel.