I know, this topic could be rather contradictory. Traveling is the opposite of being sustainable. Especially during the 21st century, these two topics collide. Firstly, this is the first time period that we all have the opportunity to travel. You can guess the counterpart: global warming. It makes you worried for the future of our planet. They have don’t have the best correlation. So how to keep on traveling, but also to act responsible for the environment? It’s a matter of your perspective, but there are some useful tips you can do too!
Why should you stop traveling? It isn’t only that we now have the chance to discover the world in a much easier and faster way then 30 years ago. We still could keep traveling, keep discovering the world and learn about other cultures, languages and other stuff. To explore unique places in the world, figure out how to explore areas no one has seen.
It’s still possible, and you still can travel for cheap, but you need to be a bit more creative. First of all, AEGEEans know it already, but you can hitchhike your way to your destination. You still need extra time to travel, a lot of energy, but it is the most fun way of traveling. You don’t have to wait for hours at the gate, just explore the road and meet many people at the same time. It is also quite harmless, since the drivers already have a destination and you just join them for a while.
Furthermore, the train is not only a fast way of traveling, it is also a very sustainable way of traveling. The only thing you need to do is book the tickets on time, or use an Interrail Pass to discover many destinations all around Europe. Also for buses there are many ways to travel for cheap and sustainable. You could even decide with the Flixbus to compensate all the CO2 emission your journey is costing. I would say it it’s not a huge effort and it is just a little extra.
CO2 compensation is not only for buses, it can also be used for flights. Ryanair – not the best air company, but they work very efficiently and they have also a CO2 compensation directly built into their booking engine. Some people would say it is just a way of ‘greenwashing’, but it has shown its positive side and you can disagree with it, but just do it. It’s better than doing nothing. In my perspective it should be compulsory for every single flight.
My personal top 5 tips to use for traveling:
- If you are searching on the internet for trips, hotels, etc. just use the search engine ‘Ecosia‘. As the name already suggested a bit, it’s very eco-friendly. The money it gets for your search results is invested to plant trees! So incredible!
- Yes, you might see it as greenwashing, but still better than nothing right? Just compensate the CO2 emission of your flights and buses. It doesn’t cost much money since you already had a cheap flight.
- When you book your hotel, check for ‘Green Key‘ or other sustainable quality marks. Hostels are in general way more sustainable.
- Use your brain! Really? Yes. Ask yourself questions, because during traveling you are always thinking of uncertainty – ‘do I need this?’ and therefore you buy extra food, water and other stuff. When traveling, you have so much take-away food, so ask yourself the question – ‘do I really need to buy it?’ This way of thinking saves money too. Water is drinkable in many areas all around Europe. Check where you go and if the tap water is drinkable there.
- Especially when you have time, you don’t need to use flights to London, Berlin or Paris. Just book your trains and buses on time and it will not be more expensive. It will not take longer. It will just be way more convenient. Also, if you have more time, why not hitchhike? It’s just an adventurous start of your journey!