Sustainable Travel Tips: Carbon Offsets Can Help

We all love to travel. It's how many of us unwind, learn and experience different cultures, and see new and exciting things. And while technology has made it easier than ever before for us to travel to faraway destinations, with that ease comes a more frequent increase in our individual carbon footprints. If you're looking for ways to reduce or offset your carbon footprint while traveling, we've gathered our favorite tips. 

Utilize public transportation

Instead of renting a car when you travel, consider using local public transportation while exploring your destination. Traveling by bus and by train whenever available can help cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Some cities offer bicycle and electric scooter rentals, as well. On top of that, using public transportation helps to immerse yourself into the local culture and will stimulate the local economy more than renting a vehicle. If you have to drive, try renting a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Unplug yourselves

It can be easy to let yourself take advantage of the fact that you're not paying for the electricity you use when staying at a hotel or Airbnb while on vacation. Try to remember that every little thing adds up over time. Unplug the appliances you don't plan on using, make sure to turn lights off when you leave, be mindful with the A/C and heat, and hang your towels to indicate that you don't need them to be washed every day. It's the little things that go a long way!

Try roughing it

If you've never considered yourself a happy camper, why not try it out in the name of being green? Choosing to go on a camping getaway would drastically cut down on your fossil fuel and water use, in comparison to a traditional vacation. If you're not thrilled with the idea of tent camping, consider renting an RV or camper to turn it into a glamping trip, instead.

Don't buy a new wardrobe just for traveling

We know — planning a trip is exciting! You want to go all-out to ensure you'll have a great time in your travels, and part of that is sometimes splurging on a few new outfits before you head out. If that tempts you, consider shopping at thrift stores or sustainable fashion brands. The fashion industry makes up 10% of the world's carbon emissions, and most of that clothing we're buying ends up back in a landfill. Unless you need something for your trip, try to make do with what you already have.

Pack light when flying

It's tempting to pack your suitcases as full as you can before hitting the weight limit, but it's better for the environment if you try to minimize the weight of your luggage. The less weight inside of an airplane, the less fuel it will use. If everyone packed five fewer pounds, just think of how much less fuel would be used overall. Airlines have even considered weighing passengers before takeoff to optimize the plane's fuel usage. 

Buy carbon offsets whenever you travel

The best way to alleviate any eco-guilt you feel when traveling is to give back, and buying carbon offsets is an easy way to do just that. A carbon offset is an investment in environmental projects that work to combat the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. Projects include forestry work, installing sustainable energy systems, methane capturing at landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, and conservation projects. 

At Green Mountain Energy, our goal is to help you neutralize your carbon footprint. Whether it's day-to-day activities like driving to work or the occasional flight while traveling, Green Mountain has a carbon offset option for you. Our air travel offset plans can be purchased for short flights under 300 miles, medium flights ranging from 300-2300 miles, and long flights over 2300 miles. If you're traveling soon, visit our website for more information.

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