As much as we wish it wasn’t true, leaving behind a 0 percent trace of pollution when traveling is impossible. Airplanes alone make up a large portion of travel pollution by emitting tons of harmful carbon emissions. Hotels consume a lot of water due to the frequent washing of towels and sheets used by guests. Cruises are basically hotels that float on water, which means they emit even larger amounts of carbon dioxide and short-lived climate pollutants like methane. The good news is you can change certain habits that contribute the most harm to Mother Nature while traveling.
Generally speaking, the shorter distances you travel the less of an impact it has on the carbon footprints you make. Pair those closer eco-friendly vacations with choosing sustainable destinations that don’t require taking a flight to get there, et voilá: Green Travel Initiated.
But what about when you want to travel further distances to cross off some of those bucket list destinations? Don’t worry. There’s no need to sacrifice your dream vacation. Believe it or not, there are still ways to explore all the wondrous places our planet has to offer without wreaking havoc on the environment.
Footprint While Traveling
Carbon Footprint While Traveling
If you are a lover of all things travel, you might be wondering how you can help reduce your carbon footprint and pollutants while still being able to travel around the world. And we at Laflore Paris have the answers for you! We put together our top 8 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips to help guide you on your eco-approved journeys.
By choosing to make an eco-conscious decision and participate in green travel, you’re already helping the environment and taking a step in the green direction and we commend you!
Buckle up your seatbelts, prepare for takeoff and let’s get to it!
Earlier we mentioned that shorter distances equal less carbon footprints, so why not enjoy a staycation? The most sustainable travel is no travel at all. Tour your own hometown: Visit a new-to-you museum, hike a new trail, visit a nearby attraction, try a new vegan restaurant. Fall in love with your city and the place you call home all over again, and who knows? It might just scratch that itch to escape the everyday!
Another great way to make the most of your staycation? Check out what local deals and events are going on right in your own backyard, you may be surprised at what you find. Many larger cities hold multicultural events where you can gain the new experiences you long for without ever straying too far from home.
While we totally recommend a staycation, consider opting for a train when you decide to travel a long distance. Did you know that trains are more environmentally friendly than cars? It’s true! In fact, trains emit 80 percent less greenhouse gasses per kilometer. Trains are such a feel-good, eco-friendly travel option too. The only other true eco-conscious alternative is either walking or biking.
Plus, a train can accommodate 50,000 people per hour versus a freeway — which is often jammed bumper to bumper with droves of carbon-emitting cars — that can only be used by about 2,500 people each hour. Also, there are both diesel and electric types of trains, which overall help reduce pollution and produce less greenhouse gasses than the already-environmentally friendly train alternative to airplanes.
You can’t relish the rails without having the perfect women’s carry-on bag. Fortunately, we have a solution for that too! Introducing to you our trolala addition to the Laflore Paris collection. The trolala is a rolling weekender bag made from sustainable premium cork skin sourced from the ancient forests of Portugal and made for the spontaneous journeys in life. Featuring two large handles for easy carry by hand or over the shoulder and a telescopic handle which extends for a smooth rolling follow, this vegan handbag is a must for your trip!
Once you finally get to your travel destination, it’s time to become a local. You know what they say: When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Out of all of our sustainable travel tips, this one is one of our favorites!
Choose to truly immerse yourself in the culture and choose local restaurants over large food chains. What better way to get a true authentic feel of the city than trying its local cuisine? Supporting local businesses while eating yummy local food? A true win!
Embodying a local lifestyle also means touring and shopping the local shops and boutiques. Treasure hunting for unique trinkets and local fashion pieces will create all of the best memories and keepsakes from your trip.
Walking tours are also a great way to explore a city’s history while still remaining eco-friendly. There are self-guided tours available almost everywhere if going at your own pace is more your style. Walking tours can also expand into hiking tours if you are more of an adventurous traveler.
If you absolutely must get somewhere by car, consider ridesharing. Bonus: Ridesharing increases your chances of meeting a friend and saves you some cash, all while reducing pollution. Yes, please!
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Choosing the perfect place to visit also means choosing the perfect place to stay during your trip. But how do you know if your Airbnb or hotel is eco-conscious? Easy if you are exploring in the States! Check to see if the place you are staying at is LEED Certified.
What does it mean to be LEED certified? A property has to meet certain prerequisites and credits on its energy, carbon, waste, water, transportation, health, materials and indoor environmental quality. After going through a verification and review process by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the project then is awarded points on an LEED rating system. Depending on the project’s commitment to adhering to its climate change goals, the points add up to achieve a Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level.
Feel and sleep better knowing that the place you’re calling home over the duration of your trip is taking measures to reduce its carbon footprint as well.
If you’re in a walkable town or city, the key is to do just that: Walk! Walking is a great way to get in some exercise while stumbling upon things you’d otherwise miss in a car. Besides, walking allows more people to see the perfectly planned outfits you put together just for this trip. (Because we know you planned some cute ones!) If you need to get somewhere that is a further distance, rent a bike or scooter to get around. Bird and Lime scooters and Citi Bikes placed throughout some cities are super easy to navigate with. It’s just a quick app download and then you’re all set to ride, as an affordable, eco-friendly alternative.
Another tip we love is to not just take from your destination, but give back to it too! Join the local beach cleanup efforts, donate to one of the local food banks. Giving some of your time and resources to the local community will make your trip even more meaningful. Joining these awesome green groups is also a great way to make new friends around the world that share your interests and goals in making our planet a cleaner and greener Earth!
SPF is crucial in your seven-step skin care routine but did you know that in all the good it does for your skin, it can have harmful effects on the environment? In fact, places like Hawaii have passed restrictions on the usage and purchase of sunscreen with harmful chemicals that can damage coral reefs. These toxic chemicals are known as oxybenzone and octinoxate. Sadly, these harmful chemicals are found to be in about 80 percent of current sun protection products on the market with known, popular name brands topping the list.
Our solution? Choose a toxin-free alternative! Google is your friend.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
Just because you are on vacation does not mean you throw your responsibilities out of the window. Take some of your favorite reusable bags, water bottles, drinking straws, coffee cups and more along for the vacation. Keep up with the everyday, environmentally friendly habits you have already built at home. Don’t forget your favorite hydro flask! Bringing it along encourages more water intake while you’re too busy having fun to even notice you’re getting dehydrated.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
Speaking of reusable, renewable products, it’s a great time to suggest that you stop buying plastic travel-sized toiletries altogether. Leverage refillable containers that can be used trip after trip. Refillable containers are a great way to store your favorite products while keeping them at your fingertips and save you from wasting money on buying the tempting travel sizes.
Photo by @alesia_kozik
Photo by @alesia_kozik
Eco-friendly vacations aren’t just the latest trend to hop on but truly a lifestyle to lead. If you are in further need of inspiration and guidance on making lifestyle changes to reduce your carbon footprint, check out our blog post about Eco-Friendly Fashion.
Laflore Paris is a sustainable and ethical brand that produces convertible vegan handbags, and it is so important to us to live and lead an eco-friendly lifestyle by example. Our purses are made from premium cork skin and our products are packaged in plastic-free & recyclable materials. Our versatile bags come in different sizes, colors and ways to wear them so that they can fit all of your travel needs — whether it's a weekend getaway or a commute on the train (eco-friendly train that is)!