Traveling to different places creates a large carbon footprint. Multiplied by the millions or tens of millions of tourists a year, you could begin to comprehend the devastation that international travel brings upon the environment.
The world is starting to see increases in average temperatures, more violent and erratic typhoons, and drier periods of drought. As such, all industries, including tourism, must make eco-friendly changes to the way they work.
The large task of reducing climate change
While it is true that tourism is responsible for four percent of the global gross domestic product, it is also the cause of massive carbon flows. Between 2009 and 2013, the industry was responsible for eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The increase in tourism and the reliance of many countries on their economic activities are inextricably linked with the production of toxic gases to the environment.
Climate change is a reality that can still be slowed down, and possibly reversed; however, that needs cooperation among all countries. Making the world energy-efficient will not happen overnight, but there are concrete ways people can begin doing today.
Here are some small steps individuals can take toward conserving energy:
Energy efficiency at home
If you want to be an energy-efficient traveler, you must start at home. You can reduce your impact and make your carbon footprint smaller by keeping your home eco-friendly. Get an energy audit like an EPC or Energy Performance Certificate. It will establish the amount of work you need to do to make your home completely green. You might also want to have your home fitted with eco-friendly solutions like a rainwater collection system.
Before you leave your home, unplug your electronics and appliances. Items that are turned off but are plugged still draw energy. It means higher electric bills and more effects on the environment. You should also turn your heating down and use timers, especially when you’ll be out for a long time. This will help you keep consumption levels low.
Planning an eco-friendly trip
You can incorporate sustainability when planning your trip. Choose places that are serious in pursuing eco-friendly solutions. When enough travelers support these places, it shows establishments that disregarding the environment might hurt their revenues. You can start with Yale University’s Environmental Performance Index, which would show you which countries are serious in their conservation efforts.
One of the greatest contributors to the carbon footprint of tourism is the use of transportation. If traveling locally, consider bicycles, walking, and other energy-efficient forms of travel, like trains. If you’re planning an international trip, you could choose airlines that include energy efficiency in their mission statement.
You should also definitely go for green accommodations. Research your possible villa or resort and see if it uses renewable energy. Get a place with large open living areas, plenty of natural materials, and green spaces. If possible, find out if your accommodations have measures in place for actively conserving energy, like having solar panels.
Conserving energy during your trip
Do activities that have a smaller impact on the environment, like cycling, horse riding, trekking, and the like. Refrain from going for helicopter flights or solo diving tours. If you really want to go scuba diving, you should try to find a group. If you can, explore the local places by foot instead of going around in a tour bus or a car. That also helps you take in the sights and sounds better.0
Do not leave your energy-saving practices at home. Reuse water bottles and coffee cups, avoid plastic bags, refrain from using items with excessive amounts of packaging, and buy local. You can also turn the air conditioning down; your room will be cool for a while even after you have turned the unit off, so you could probably do with fewer hours of use.
As the environment bears the ever-increasing impact of tourism, many people are seeing the value of being mindful of energy efficiency in travel. Visiting new places and getting to know different cultures is one of the most fulfilling things you could do. However, there must be a greater push toward sustainability in traveling. Energy-efficient travel benefits everyone, and if this becomes a norm, it will bring positive change to global attitudes toward climate change.
Choose Riverhouse Phuket as the home base for your eco-friendly trip to Thailand. Our villas are located in a tranquil residential neighborhood in Phuket, and our energy-efficient homes are designed to deliver comfort while keeping a small carbon footprint. Browse our gallery to see our homes, and contact us today for more booking information!