Skip to main content

5 Simple Ways to Travel Greener

Every new year brings a wave of articles encouraging travelers to make this the year that they travel greener. Now, more than ever, most of us are more conscious and conscientious of the ways our travel impacts the world around us. But, clearly, there is still work to be done. Here are five simple ways to travel greener in 2020 and beyond.

Use a Portable Water Purifier

Almost one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world every minute. While more developed countries recycle some of that waste, it’s often burned or discarded with regular trash in less developed areas of the world. In case it’s not obvious, relying on filtered, rather than bottled, water is a great way to reduce your footprint at home and while traveling. Most portable water purifiers are compact, USB-rechargeable, and effective at killing 99.9% percent of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Pair one with the water bottle you’re already using at home, and you have an almost limitless supply of fresh, clean water to drink no matter where you go. To seriously up your hydration game, check out the self-cleaning water bottle from Larq.

travel backpack water bottle sunset
Nathan Fertig

Skip the Single-Use Plastics

Most of us appreciate the benefits of ditching single-use water bottles in favor of reusable alternatives. For all the same reasons, travelers can go a step further by ditching plastic straws and stirrers on planes and at hotels and resorts. Pack a washable silicone or metal straw instead. Likewise, reusable flatware kits (with at least a fork, spoon, and knife) are inexpensive and help further eliminate plastic waste while on the road.

Cut Back on Air Travel

For most of us, eliminating air travel altogether isn’t realistic. For domestic trips, consider traveling by train or car whenever possible, even if it’s just one trip per year. Driving and rail travel are two of the greatest ways to see the U.S. and beyond. They force you to slow down and experience your surroundings in a way that flying just can’t match. They’re also much, much better for the environment. According to the BBC, gas emissions from domestic air travel add up to roughly 254 grams per passenger per kilometer traveled. Travel by car or train is significantly less at 43 grams and 41 grams, respectively.

train travel window glacier national park
Mike Petrucci

Shop Local

The “shop local” movement has grown considerably in the United States. It not only helps bolster local economies, but it also reduces carbon emissions by limiting the transportation (and subsequent pollution) required to ship products from point to point. Wherever you travel, find local markets rather than corporate chains where food and other essentials are more likely to be produced by locals from the surrounding community.

Stay Local Too

Hotels are finally realizing that savvy consumers demand more environmental accountability from the companies they patronize. Still, resorts and larger hotels are among the most wasteful travel-related businesses on the planet. Consider “staying local” — at a guesthouse or Airbnb, for example. Local owners are more likely to have stronger community ties and a vested interest in maintaining green practices in their own properties and their neighborhoods.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
This is the longest flight in the world
You'll definitely need a nap on this flight
an airplane on the runway under a cloudy sky

When it comes to ultra-long-haul travel, one route stands out above the rest – the Singapore to New York flight operated by Singapore Airlines. This flight covers up to a mind-boggling 9,537 miles nonstop.
How long is the longest flight in the world?

In total, passengers are airborne for a whopping 18 hours and 40 minutes, nearly an entire day spent soaring across the world. Making such an extremely long-haul flight possible is the Airbus A350-900ULR (Ultra Long Range). This specialized aircraft features a modified fuel system that allows it to carry a higher quantity of jet fuel, giving it the extended range required to complete the Singapore-New York route without refueling stops.
Comfort amenities for the world’s longest flight

Read more
A new report says this is the most stressful airport in the U.S.
Anticipate high stress levels when traveling through this airport
Chicago O Hare

Traveling can be an exciting experience, but it often comes with its own set of challenges, especially at airports. According to a recent study by StressFreeCarRental.com, Chicago O’Hare Airport has earned the honor of being the most stressful airport in the United States. For seasoned travelers, this news might not come as a surprise. O’Hare’s reputation for congestion, frequent delays, and confusing terminals have long been the source of many travel nightmares. Let’s dive into the factors that make O’Hare the most stressful airport in the country.
What makes Chicago O’Hare Airport so stressful?

The recent study analyzed the top 15 airports in the United States, focusing on five key stress-inducing factors: passenger numbers, distance from the city center, number of flight destinations, car parking charges, and the overall airport satisfaction score. Chicago O’Hare’s ranking as the most stressful airport is largely due to the high parking charge and the large number of flight destinations.

Read more
Omni Amelia Island’s Fish to Fork is the culinary event of the year
The perfect trip for the foodie in your life
Fish to Fork Sprouting Project Lunch 2024

If you know Omni hotels, you know the individual character each one possesses. Unlike so many cookie-cutter hotel chains, each Omni location has its own personality, complete with local charm and flavor. Whether you're after a warm and cozy (albeit intense) gingerbread competition in Asheville, North Carolina, or a lavish culinary getaway with a group of incredibly talented chefs in beautiful Florida, Omni has you covered.

From May 9-12, Omni Amelia Island hosted its eighth annual Fish to Fork event - a weekend-long affair where guests enjoyed their stay alongside award-winning chefs, dined on beautiful, locally grown, locally caught lavish meals, enjoyed a deep-sea fishing excursion, partook in all of the wonderful amenities Omni Amelia Island has to offer, and were pulled into a heart-racing chef showdown at the end of the wonderful weekend.

Read more