Traveling is an amazing experience that gives you the opportunity to explore new places around the world, learn about different cultures and take part in lots of exciting activities. It has also opened up numerous business opportunities, with companies now using travel to network worldwide and expand into new countries and markets all around the globe, and many companies now offer trips all over the world as part of their employees’ job descriptions.
However, business and travel are two factors that are strongly contributing to global warming and is having an extremely damaging effect on our planet. Granted, some carbon emissions are unavoidable while traveling, but there are many ways to make business trips sooner. With this in mind, here are some top tips to help you plan an eco-friendly trip.
Choose a green mode of transport
Transport makes a significant contribution to global carbon emissions. For instance, according to a study by the Guardian – “Taking a long-haul flight generates more carbon emissions than the average person produces in a whole year.” Flying to your destination is one of the most environmentally damaging ways to travel and will therefore increase your carbon footprint. You should therefore try and opt for more eco-friendly transport options like trains, coaches and buses rather than driving to your next business meeting. As an example, taking a coach holiday is an excellent way to reduce carbon emissions as it’s far more environmentally-friendly than other modes of transport like driving or catching a flight.
Understandably, air travel is sometimes necessary due to the location of your destination, but, you can still make your flight as eco-friendly as possible by choosing the most direct route and opting for green airlines.
Only arrange trips if you have to
It is easy to forget the damaging effects that travel has on the environment when traveling for business. However, with global warming having an increasing negative effect on our planet, it’s vital that all businesses take responsibility for their carbon footprint and do their bit to help the environment. One of the simplest ways to reduce carbon emissions is to try and minimise business travel whenever possible – only arrange trips if you have to. This can easily be achieved by holding work meetings via videoconferencing technology and by scheduling meetings back-to-back when travel is necessary. This will help reduce your company’s carbon footprint, minimise environmental harm and save you money on business travel costs. You can find plenty more advice and tips on eco-friendly business travel.
Avoid buying plastic water bottles
Plastic waste is currently a massive environmental issue and is causing serious damage to our oceans and marine life. When people travel abroad, they tend to buy large volumes of plastic water bottles, especially if the local water is unsafe to drink. This leads to huge amounts of plastic waste. A simple, affordable and effective way to make travel more eco-friendly is by carrying your own refillable drinking bottle. Many airports and other public venues now offer free drinking water – taking advantage of this will help the environment and save you money. You should also consider bringing along your own reusable coffee/tea mug to avoid having to use disposable cups in coffee shops and cafes.
Stay in eco-friendly accommodation
As concerns for our planet grow, environmentally-friendly hotels have become more popular and affordable. Whenever you travel, look for a LEED-certificated hotel and try to book the most eco-friendly accommodation available. According to environmental blog Gogreentravelgreen.com – “Hotels aiming for LEED hotel certification must create a project team dedicated to reducing the property’s carbon footprint. This team make necessary changes to improve sustainability and the property is then judged on a 100 point system.” Eco-friendly upgrades commonly include – improving water efficiency, upgrading to eco-friendly appliances, and switching to energy-efficient lighting like LED bulbs.
While some carbon emissions are unavoidable when traveling, there are plenty of ways to make your business trip more green. Just remember to use some of the above tips to reduce environmental harm and help you plan an eco-friendly trip.