Sustainable Travel: How to Explore the World While Minimizing Your Environmental Impact

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Photo by Leah Kelley on


Travel is the best way to explore the world. However, it can also be a huge strain on our planet’s resources—especially if you’re not careful. In this guide, we’ll show you how to minimize your environmental impact while exploring the world.

Do your research.

Say’s Jeremy Schulman, If you’re concerned about the environment, it’s important to do your research. Research what is important to you and how your destination measures up. For example:

  • Is there an eco-friendly hotel in the area? If so, what are its policies on recycling, energy use and water consumption?
  • How far away is it from nature reserves or national parks where I can experience wildlife firsthand?
  • Does this place offer day trips that allow me to interact with locals while supporting their economy and culture–or does it just encourage people to stay put at their resort without leaving much of an environmental footprint behind them?

Choose a place that has good train or bus service to get around.

When you’re deciding where to go, consider how much time and money you want to spend on travel. If your goal is to get from point A to B as quickly and cheaply as possible, then trains and buses may be more suitable than flying. If you’re happy with slow travel and want the opportunity to see more of the country or region along the way, then flying might make sense for you.

Be flexible with your dates.

  • Avoid peak travel times.
  • Be flexible with your dates.
  • Look for last minute deals.

Volunteer at an eco-friendly farm, lodge or nature reserve in exchange for a bed and food.

Volunteering is a great way to do some good in the world while also seeing it.

Many countries offer volunteer opportunities in exchange for a bed and food. If you’re looking for something more long-term, there are even options like WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) where you can live with a host family while helping out around the farm.

There are many ways to minimize your environmental impact while traveling

There are many ways to minimize your environmental impact while traveling.

  • Choose a place with good train or bus service. If you can do it without having to fly, then choose an itinerary that minimizes air travel and use trains, buses and ferries instead. This will reduce the amount of CO2 produced by your journey as well as save money compared with flying.
  • Be flexible with your dates. Try not to book flights too far in advance because they’re likely to be cheaper later on when demand is lower (and there may even be deals). You might also consider combining multiple destinations into one long trip rather than taking lots of short ones–this reduces carbon emissions per person per day spent traveling!
  • Volunteer at an eco-friendly farm, lodge or nature reserve in exchange for a bed and food: This way you’ll get closer up experience of local culture while helping out with important work around conservation projects–and nobody gets hurt!


We hope that you’ve found these tips helpful and are inspired to go on a trip that’s both sustainable and enjoyable. Remember, the most important thing is to be flexible in your planning and willing to make adjustments along the way. It may take some extra effort, but the payoff will be worth it!

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