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7 ways to minimise your carbon footprint when traveling

Save the environment with sustainable tourism

· 4 min read

Traveling is a wonderful way to explore new places and experience different cultures, but it often comes with a significant carbon footprint. From transportation to accommodation and daily activities, every aspect of travel can contribute to environmental impact. In today's world where there is sustainability is increasingly important, there are ways that you can also minimise your carbon footprint and make your journeys more sustainable.


1. Minimise carbon footprint by your choice of flights

Air travel is a major contributor to carbon emissions. The good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint while flying.

Flying long-haul can be painful, and you might be tempted to break your journey down into shorter segments to make it more bearable. But, choosing non-stop flights can actually help to reduce your carbon footprint.

Take-offs and landings contribute significantly to carbon emission, and choosing a non-stop flight over a flight with layovers can actually help to reduce your carbon footprint.

In addition, while comparing your airline choices, you can also choose airlines that are committed to reducing their environmental footprint. Airlines with newer fleets are often more fuel-efficient. Some airlines also offer carbon offset programs, allowing you to join projects that can help to neutralise your carbon footprint.

2. Be conscious of what you have packed

It is not uncommon to overpack for your trip, because it's always good to bring along some extra sets of clothes or shoes “just in case” you need it, right?

But, overpacking can actually contribute to your carbon footprint. The weight of your luggage directly affects the fuel efficiency of flights. By packing light, you can help reduce the overall carbon emissions associated with your journey.

Consider versatile clothing and packing only the essentials to minimize the weight of your luggage. Not only does packing light help you to reduce your carbon footprint, it will also make it much easier for you to get around when traveling.

For convenience, many people might also choose to get single use items. Unfortunately, while convenient, the use of disposables and single use items is not environmentally friendly. Before you pick up these items for your next trip, stop and think about whether you really need them.

3. Choose sustainable accommodations

When selecting accommodation, opt for eco-friendly options such as hotels with green certifications, eco-lodges, or vacation rentals committed to sustainable practices. These establishments often implement energy-efficient measures, waste reduction programs, and water conservation efforts.

Most of these accommodation options do not provide disposable toiletries, nor do they change your towels and sheets everyday. While it is definitely nice to enjoy the luxurious treatment, it is probably something that you can live without.

You are helping to save the environment simply by not changing your towels daily, or by using your own toothbrush and comb instead of using the disposable ones that the hotels provide!

4. Conserve energy and resources

Since you don't incur the electricity and water bills, you might be tempted to simply leave the air condition and lights on when you leave your room, or to set the temperatures of the air condition at a very low temperature to keep the room cold. It is also often that you might end up taking longer baths than usual.

While we don't pay the utilities bill, these subconscious acts actually results in unnecessary consumption of energy and resources. You don't have to scrimp and save — you can still enjoy the comfort of your hotel, but it is important to be aware of your energy consumption.

A good guideline would be to simply behave like you would back at home, assuming you are the ones paying the utility bills!

5. Use public transport to help you get around

While it could be more convenient to get around with a rental car or by engaging a driver or private hire, this would result in higher carbon emissions.

Reduce your carbon footprint by exploring your destination using eco-friendly modes of transportation. Walk or bike whenever possible, and utilize public transportation to experience local culture while minimizing your environmental impact.

If you have to rent a car or other transport options to help you get around, check the options that are available for rental. Where possible, rent an electrical car or a hybrid car, instead of one that runs on fuel.

6. Engage in responsible tourism

Respect the local environment and culture by adhering to responsible tourism practices. Avoid activities that harm wildlife or damage ecosystems, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities.

When planning your itinerary and deciding what you want to do, prioritise local businesses and businesses that have ethical and eco-friendly practices. Try to eat local as much as possbile. Consuming foods from local growers and producers is an effective way to reduce the shipping and transport emissions of your meals.

When traveling, try to minimise your impact to the environment. Leave no trace and follow sustainable tourism guidelines to ensure that your travels have a positive impact. Keep the environment clean — do not litter, and do not vandalise!

7. Use an eSIM to help you stay connected

You might be considering getting a local SIM card once you are at your destination, or you might be thinking of getting a burner phone for your trip. However, the single-use SIM card and burner phones could actually contribute to your carbon footprint.

A more economical option would be to use a travel eSIM. eSIM, which stands for embedded SIM, is actually a chip that is embedded in your device. It functions similarly to an SIM card, except it doesn't have a physical card.

Travel eSIMs provide data and connectivity just like a travel SIM card would. Except, with travel eSIMs, you will not be consuming additional plastics like you would if you were to use a physical SIM card or a burner phone.

The purchase, installation, and activation of a travel eSIM can be fully digital. Simply scan the QR code of the eSIM to install it on your device, and you can activate it in just a few taps on your device. And in case you were wondering, no, an eSIM does not use more power or battery than a regular SIM card.

Get a Nomad travel eSIM for your next trip!

A travel eSIM has more benefits than just reducing your carbon footprint. A travel eSIM is much more convenient. In just a few steps, you can have the eSIM installed in your device, and you can get connected as soon as you arrive at your destination. You don't have to waste time queuing at the booths and counters at the airport.

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.50/GB.

If you are unsure about how much data you need for your trip, Nomad also has a Data Calculator that can help you find the plan that is most suitable for you. Also check out our blog post on data-saving tips when traveling to keep your data usage in check when traveling.

Nomad also has a 24-hour customer support team. So, in the event where you face difficulties while using your eSIM, rest assured there will be someone available to help you resolve your issues!