Eco-Conscious Travel

  • 2024-01-16
  • Guest contribution by Komlan Godfried Amouzou
  • Comment
Smiling woman looks out of the window during the train journey
© Getty Images/Pekic

Studies or an internship abroad can shape lives in the long term and open up new perspectives. Albeit a stay abroad is often associated with a lot of travelling, which negatively impacts our climate. Set out below, students can find tips on how to make their journeys more eco-conscious in the future.  

Travelling Green

Anyone wanting to travel more sustainably should first work out how they’re going to get from A to B. Numerous studies have revealed that aircraft cause by far the highest greenhouse gas emissions, followed by cars. It is therefore advisable to avoid air travel and car journeys wherever possible, and to use public transport such as buses and trains instead. That is of course not always possible. A journey over thousands of kilometres is difficult to accomplish by bus and train. Public transport conversely works well for shorter distances. Everyone should consider whether a closer destination could be of interest. Another advantage of public transport is that you can easily meet new people, especially fellow travellers. 

Thrifty guests

It is advisable to book certified eco-accommodation when choosing where to stay. Eco-accommodation seeks to avoid unnecessary use of energy and materials. Those who can’t afford or don’t want to use such accommodation can nevertheless ensure that they are prudent in their use of towels, bed linen, water and electricity. Less is more when it comes to showering or washing dishes – less water consumption means more environmental protection. Prudent use of electricity is also desirable. Electric devices should be switched off when they’re not needed. Natural lighting and ventilation should be used whenever possible. 

Sustainable conduct at your destination

Anyone who mainly buys local products from local companies during their stay abroad is not only behaving in a climate-conscious manner, but is also supporting local business. Conscious decisions in favour of the climate can also be made when it comes to pastimes and sports. Skiing harms the environment, for example, and hunting or fishing of endangered species should also be implicitly avoided. 

Shopping and packaging

People do a lot of shopping when they’re travelling. We often tend in particular to consume takeaway food and drinks on journeys, and to visit small food and gift shops that frequently provide single-use plastic bags and containers. Yet such packaging is extremely harmful to the environment. We should therefore take reusable containers and bags with us on our travels. Products that arise from endangered animal and plant species or that are sourced from illegal channels should be strictly taboo. The best choice in each case is to buy local sustainable products. 

It’s not always possible to perfectly implement your own resolutions when travelling. Sometimes there’s a need to fly or eco-accommodation is simply unaffordable. But even incremental improvements help. It certainly makes a difference to the climate if lots of people are at least a bit more eco-conscious when they travel. 

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