Eco-friendly adventures with a small footprint
Welcome, fellow intrepid travelers. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re a passionate explorer, much like us, committed to taking conscious steps — no matter how small — to safeguard the beauty of our planet.
Sustainability has never been more important and in the pursuit of preserving our precious Earth and its wonders, there are numerous mindful choices we can make during our global galivanting, ensuring that our footprints remain small, yet our experiences remain big, much like this world. Join us as we explore just a small selection of ideas, assisting you to give a big ‘green’ thumbs up to your next worldly adventure.
Light on carbon, big on comfort and style
When it comes to accommodation, have you heard of the concept of capsule or pod hotels? If you have answered no, then put this on your list of things to explore.
The concept of capsule hotels came from the brainchild of Japan as an eco-friendly answer to overcrowded and expensive city centres. Far from the original intended purpose which was to allow white-collared workers who had a little too much to drink after work, a place to lay their head; now breathe a fresh new lease on life as they embrace aesthetically pleasing interiors that appeal to the stylish modern and digitally connected traveller. And, if you are a travelling family or a group, many offer quad rooms with shared bathrooms, so fear not. In the capsules themselves, you will often discover charging points, complimentary Wi-Fi and some flat-screen TVs.
Capsule hotels are often considered more sustainable for a few reasons. Due to their smaller individual spaces, capsule hotels typically require less energy for heating, cooling, and lighting compared to larger hotel rooms. The reduced energy demand contributes to lower overall energy consumption and a smaller environmental footprint. Shared bathroom facilities are quite common, which leads to more efficient water usage compared to private bathrooms in traditional hotels. The minimalist design of capsule hotels often discourages excessive consumption and waste generation. With fewer amenities and a focus on essential services, guests may be less inclined to use disposable items or generate unnecessary waste during their stay.
Capsule hotels are often strategically located in urban centres or near transportation hubs, encouraging the use of public transportation and reducing the need for car rentals or transfers. This aligns with sustainable urban planning principles by promoting accessibility and reducing carbon emissions.
The other brilliant thing about this style of accommodation is it creates a sense of community, allowing travellers to mix and swap stories in the shared facilities such as the kitchen or dining spaces. For any solo travellers, this is a great way to meet other like-minded people and make some new friends.
Airlines are going ‘green’
Sometimes it is unavoidable not to travel by air if we wish to venture further than our own backyard, but that doesn’t mean there are no options to reduce the amount of carbon produced by our travels.
Airlines are taking the right steps to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing weight and optimising flight paths, which all help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Some have already commenced investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to achieve goals of carbon neutral air travel.
As a traveler, you might be wondering what you can do. Consider where possible booking direct non-stop flights, or purchasing carbon offsets at the time of booking. And, if you have a choice of flying with an airline that uses SAF you may decide to prioritise this.
You may find it interesting to know that your carbon footprint on a flight is determined by how much space you consume on the plane, so if you are a traveler who would normally travel at the pointy end of the aircraft or even premium economy, you might wish to consider booking economy flights instead. There are many silver linings to be had here; not only do you save money, but you are also helping to save the planet. Now that’s a win-win.
A greener, time-efficient and comfortable alternative to flying
Should you find yourself travelling where it is renowned for its efficient rail network, then travelling by rail is a consideration instead of flying for several reasons and let’s start with the environmental ones.
As an example, Eurostar conducted some independent research that looked at the amount of CO2 per passenger produced on a London to Paris Eurostar compared to flying. It took into account passenger loadings, energy consumption and how Eurostar’s electricity is generated. These results were then compared to aircraft loadings and consumption. The results showed that opting for the train over flying cut CO2 emissions per passenger by 90%.
There is also the consideration of time that you may save. Airports are often located outside of city centres and require commuting time, not to mention baggage drop and the lengthy queues at security before you even get to board your flight. Rail stations, on the other hand are almost always located in central locations easy to access and simply require you to be on time to jump on board and find your seat.
The other consideration with rail is you often have more legroom and the ability to get up and walk up and down between carriages, and partake in a snack or meal from the dining cart, all the while taking in the scenery on your journey. Something that is missed while above the clouds.
Travel light and love it
If you haven’t read our travel light and love it blog, be sure to take a read of firsthand experience with carry-on luggage only through Europe for 3 weeks. It might sound crazy, but it can be done.
Choosing to travel light is not only practical but also more sustainable. Essentially if everyone travelled with a little less kilos, it would help support airlines with their quest to reduce the weight and increase the efficiency of flights, thereby reducing fuel consumption. It will also make traveling on trains a breeze as you have limited places to stow your luggage, which is generally above you on the small baggage racks or if you are in first or business class, you may be able to store them under your seat. Where trains are at capacity, it can be a battle to find suitable space, so something to keep in mind.
Where you have booked a capsule hotel or even apartment hotels that have laundry facilities, the need to have excess clothing is automatically eliminated as you can wash and wear it throughout your trip. Packing smartly with multi-purpose clothing and shoes is also key. There is also the option to purchase things like toiletries on your arrival so you can leave all those items at home.
Many ways to make a positive impact
These are only just a few examples of how you can make a small change but create a big impact on shaping a greener and more sustainable future. As passionate globetrotters, it is up to us to recognize the significance of traveling responsibly, not only to minimize our footprint but also to positively influence the communities we visit. By making conscious choices in our travel habits, such as opting for eco-friendly accommodations, supporting local businesses, and choosing sustainable transportation options, we can contribute to the preservation of our planet and the well-being of the destinations we explore.
At 1000 Mile Travel Vacations, our travel advisors understand the importance of sustainable travel. With a wealth of knowledge and firsthand experiences, they are eager to guide you in planning your next bucket list adventure in a way that aligns with environmentally conscious practices. Let’s embark on journeys that not only fulfill our wanderlust but also leave a positive legacy for generations to come.
Ready to book? Get in touch with our travel advisors today.
Let’s create unforgettable and responsible travel experiences together.