The travel industry is a billion dollar industry that also leads to some of the biggest pollutants on the planet. Burning fossil fuels over the past century has led to numerous, long term issues with the environment. From how we source the fuels, to how we use them, the entire supply chain has drastic negative effects that we have to deal with daily. And yet, we live in a world where travel is necessary. Whether you have a client you have to meet with in another city, or you are going for a vacation of a lifetime with your loved one, traveling is an important part of our lives, and it is impossible to ignore. We put together a list of the most sustainable ways to travel, and if you have to go long distance there are some ideas here for you too.
Alright so maybe you can’t get to Cancun by walking, but going for a walk to your local destination is the most sustainable choice you can make. A great thing about walking is that the journey to the destination is as fun as getting to the destination itself. Walking is also one of the healthiest things you can do both mentally and physically, so next time you’re in need of a vacation take a walk and see if it helps you feel better.
Another great sustainable way to travel is to hop on your bike. While you’re not likely to bike to Cancun, it definitely is possible and will take a lot less time than walking. Biking is a great way to get good exercise and see new parts of your town or city that you are maybe unfamiliar with. You can also bike to run errands, meet friends, and connect with loved ones. Your classic mountain bike or beach cruiser don’t emit any emissions, so you can ride around and feel great about enjoying the environment around you.
With the new amazing trend of everything going electric, we now have electric skateboards, bikes, and scooters. An E-Bike is a great way to travel. Most bikes offer the ability to manually ride, go full electric, or a hybrid. These bikes can also go pretty fast and pretty far on a single charge. This is great for running errands, meeting friends, and even going on a day trip to a local staycation or camping ground.
Depending on where you live, your local public transportation can take you to places in your city you’ve never been to, and even around the country and the world. From your local bus to a new neighborhood, or a train that goes along the coast, public transportation is an affordable and sustainable way to see new places and get to where you need to go.
As we mentioned previously with the E-Bike, new electric motorcycles are emerging regularly from ambitious start up companies and the biggest manufacturing companies alike. Harley Davidson announced an E-Bike coming soon, along with a variety of smaller companies around the world doing exciting things. We’re now also getting into a world where bigger trips are available, E-Bikes can give you the freedom to travel hundreds of miles at top speeds and on highways.
Who doesn’t love a good old fashion road trip? Only ten to fifteen years ago, it would have been impossible to go on a road trip around the country or world in an electric vehicle, but with infrastructure for electric vehicle charging growing at an extremely fast rate, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast. If you can’t afford to buy your own electric vehicle before your next trip do not worry, there are numerous ways for you to rent your own electric vehicle.
If you’re going on a road trip you might as well invite others to go with you! Carpooling is a good way to get more gas powered cars off the road and save energy. If you can, try to connect with other people who are looking to travel to where you want to go. You can also use apps like Uber and Lyft to get you to your destination via ride share.
Depending on where you live, or where you want to travel to, trains can be one of the best ways to travel. Trains not only connect towns to towns and cities to cities, they are a great way to go on an adventure and experience something new. Europe is known for its amazing train system, which can get your to almost every city you’d like to visit. The west coast of California has an extensive Amtrak train system, as does the east coast, and recent talks of a big train system implementation has been in the talks for a long time. If you really wanted a fun trip, it is possible to go from one American coast to the other via train.
When Greta Thunberg had to come to America in her well publicized tour, she decided to get here via an electric boat. Electric boats aren’t quite as mainstream as electric vehicles are at the moment, but with some support we’re hoping they can get there soon. There is however a big difference between riding an electric boat and going on a cruise for a vacation. Cruise lines are one of the biggest pollutants on the planet. And don’t forget, a kayak, canoe, and stand up paddleboard don’t require any energy at all, so if you really wanted to go off the grid you can ride one of those to your favorite riverside campground.
Interested in buying an electric airplane? There are options out there. While commercial electric flights aren’t fully rolled out yet, it is definitely something to keep an eye out for in the future. In the meantime, if you are planning on flying, you can pay a little extra money to offset your carbon emissions.
Sustainable Ways To Travel
Hopefully these ten tips on sustainable ways to travel will help you find a destination in the world that makes you happy, and helps you get there in an environmentally friendly way.