Going greener is easier than ever. As a business traveller, there are many ways you can make small but effective changes when travelling which will have a positive impact on the environment and help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Our latest sustainable travel blog explores the ways you can travel responsibly and sustainably when travelling for both work and personally.
Here are our 20 top tips and considerations for how to travel more sustainably:
Fly direct with a non-stop flight
Flying non-stop rather than indirectly means less fuel and emissions. Take-off and landing uses more fuel than being in the air – in fact if your flight has a stopover, it can increase the flights total emissions by 35%. It also saves you valuable time.
Rethink flying Business and choose Economy class
One way to make air travel more sustainable is by flying Economy. Business class bumps your carbon up three times more than if flying in Economy class! With more space per seat, each person accounts for a larger portion of the plane’s emissions.
Choose an eco-friendly airline
You can minimise your environmental footprint by choosing an eco-friendly airline. You can also check the type of aircraft you will be flying on – newer models, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, are more fuel efficient and produce less CO2.
Choose the closest airport to your final destination
Some budget airlines often offer cheaper fares to fly to airports that are located far from the city advertised. Think about the travel distance from the airport to your final destination – is there a closer option? This will help reduce unnecessary fuel use and well as time.
Think about how you will travel to the airport
It is not just about flying – it is important to think about how you are getting to the airport. Public transport is the most eco-friendly option, so travel by train, bus or shuttle where possible.
No frills and low-cost airlines are a great choice
Low-cost airlines offer more economy seating making the best use of aircraft space. Also due to unbundled fares, passengers only pay for what they want e.g. meals or baggage, resulting in less waste, less weight, and a greater fuel efficiency.
Packing lighter can help to reduce the emissions of your flights - the heavier the plane, the more fuel it will use. Depending on the duration of your trip, try to stick to hand luggage only.
Bring your own in-cabin items
It is also recommended to bring your own in-cabin items such as a refillable coffee cup/water bottle, earphones and reusable cutlery. This helps to reduce waste especially single-use plastics.
Don’t print an e-ticket or boarding pass
Instead of printing your e-ticket or boarding pass, it is much more eco-friendly to display it on a mobile device. Most airlines provide free apps where customers can easily download their boarding pass.
Invest in a reusable water bottle
In order to reduce single-plastic use, invest in a reusable water bottle. Many airports and hotels now offer drinking water stations where you can refill your bottle. It is also recommended to take reusable bags with you too.
Take a plastic-free travel kit and decant toiletries
Purchasing a TSA approved reusable wash bag and travel-sized bottles can help minimise your single-use plastic. You can decant your toiletries as you wish instead of buying overpriced and wasteful travel minis. If you want to go the extra mile, invest in eco-friendly items such as a bamboo toothbrush or eco-friendly shampoo.
Purchase carbon offset credits
Purchasing credits from a carbon offsetting company is one way to compensate for your flying emissions. The money you pay for offsetting the flight carbon emissions is used to combat the CO2 in the atmosphere, mainly through tree planting and reforestation.
Choose vegetarian or vegan in-flight meals
When booking or choosing your in-flight meal, why not consider a vegetarian or vegan option. Plant-based diets are proven to reduce your environmental impact.
Lower window shades when flying
Lowering the window shade when in the air helps to keep the plane cooler. In turn this means less energy is required to power air conditioning and results in a reduction of the total energy required and CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
Ask about a hotel’s eco-friendly initiatives at check-in
Many hotels, both chain and independent, now offer eco-friendly initiatives for customers to promote greener travel. Ask during check-in if there is anything you can do to help – there is usually a reward in return!
Reduce electricity use during hotel stay
During your hotel stay, it is important to keep your electricity use to a minimum. The best way to do this is to ensure the lights, TV, aircon and any other appliances are turned off when not using and when leaving the room.
Use less water
In order to reduce water waste, take short showers and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Did you know, turning off the tap when you brush your teeth can save up to 4 gallons of water per person per day.
Don’t ask for linen to be changed
During hotel stays, guests are encouraged to use the same towels and bed linen throughout their stay. This helps hotels reduce their water wastage and decrease energy use. Some hotels even offer incentives for keeping the same linen.
Avoid the buffet and eat local
Buffets are incredibly wasteful, it is much more eco-friendly to order from the à la carte menu instead. Try to eat locally sourced food at independent restaurants as it supports the local economy and are kinder to the environment. It is important to consider how far your food has travelled!
Take waste and packaging home with you
Landfill and waste management can be very poor in some countries. You may wish to take packaging and some waste home with you so it can be discarded or recycled effectively.
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