Consider Alternatives to Flying
Tools such as online carbon calculators can help you determine which transportation method is the most carbon-friendly for your particular trip. For example, a seven hour drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco uses significantly less carbon than the two hour-long roundtrip flights between the cities.
Take Longer Vacations -- And Give Back While You’re Away
Rather than taking several short trips over the course of a year, a more sustainable option is to take a few longer (and more purposeful) vacations. Since flights emit such a large amount of carbon, it is important to make up for it by giving back to the community that you are visiting. Some easy projects could involve spending half an hour removing litter from the beach or volunteering to remove non-native species from the area.
Choose Your Hotel Carefully
Collectively, hotels are responsible for over 60 million tons of carbon emissions per year due to the amount of energy that it takes to run these enormous buildings. Certain hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental have ambitious plans to reduce their carbon footprints in the next few years. When choosing a hotel, look carefully to find one with a LEED-certified building or clear sustainability initiatives.
Have Suggestions? Reach Out!
It is important to make your appreciation for a brand’s sustainability initiatives clear -- as well as your suggestions for how they could improve. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the marketing team of a hotel brand or airline company to congratulate them for the work that they have done for the environment -- as well as to suggest some additional steps they could take in the future. You never know, your ideas could spark some serious changes!