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Top tips to reduce your carbon footprint

Want to make a positive impact on the environment when you travel? We share our top tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint on the road

By Simon Usborne
Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:22 BST
Reducing your carbon footprint
Reducing your carbon footprint
Photograph by Getty Images

Travel closer, stay longer
Long-haul flights contribute up to 90% of carbon emissions for a whole holiday. Short flights have a smaller impact, but not if that means multiple mini-breaks a year. If you can’t avoid flying, try to go to destinations closer to home and stay longer.

Carbon offsetting
Although it’s optional, most of the big airlines offer carbon offsetting for a small contribution. A standard flight to Florida would cost less than £10 in carbon credits, for example. This allows airlines to invest in environmentally conscious projects.

All at sea
Travel by ferry or cruise liner can be just as polluting than air travel. Use companies with eco-friendly vessels — they typically use energy-efficient fuel and have a desalination system for drinking water, and a biological sewage treatment system.

Scrutinise your hotel
A good way to check the green credentials of a hotel is to see if its certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) that use renewable energy and green products.

Eco-conscious tour operators
Specialists will take the uncertainty out of booking an ethical trip by sourcing responsible, local hotels, guides and destinations. But drill into their credentials and practises to avoid greenwashing.

The simple things
At a destination, go for public transport and bikes rather than a car rental, if you can. Invest in a refillable drinking bottle, with built-in filtration if necessary. Use a fan instead of air conditioning wherever possible and reuse your sheets and towels.

Is time running out to stop climate change? Click here to read the full report from our March 2019 issue.

Follow @susborne

Published in the March 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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