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Traveling is an enjoyable experience for many people, but it can also be a burden due to the environmental impact that comes with it. You might not realize all of the ways that traveling impacts the environment, but unfortunately, they do exist. Here are a few things to do to help reduce your eco-footprint when you travel.

Avoid Bottled Water

In general, one of the worst things for the environment is bottled water. This is especially true when traveling abroad, as people are more inclined to go for the easier option. One study showed that it takes between 450 and 1000 years for water bottles to decompose naturally in landfills. 

Buying bottled water also wastes money because most tap water in developed nations is just as clean (if not cleaner) than bottled water. Instead, bring a reusable water bottle with you so that you can refill it whenever needed.

Choose a Carbon Offset Adventure

One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact when traveling is to choose an adventure that has a carbon offset. Carbon offsets allow companies and individuals to pay for projects that will reduce emissions elsewhere in the world, which essentially gives travelers a “carbon vacation”!

For example, some companies plan vacations using carbon-free transportation, like bikes or public transit. Others offer carbon-free vacations that include staying at green hotels with recycling and composting programs in place.

Make Eco-Friendly Accommodations

It can be difficult to find eco-friendly accommodations when traveling, especially if you aren’t familiar with the surrounding area. To help solve this problem, check out Airbnb, an online marketplace where people list their homes for rent. Countless listings on this site are eco-friendly and include things like organic bedding, composting and recycling bins, and solar panels.

Get Involved in Local Environmental Issues

Another great way to reduce your impact when traveling is to get involved with local environmental issues. Many tourist destinations have volunteer opportunities near the area you are visiting, and some even offer free food and lodging.


It can be easy to destroy the environment without even realizing it when you’re traveling. Still, by following these four tips, you’ll be able to reduce your impact on the environment when you travel. Not only that, but if you choose an adventure like carbon offsetting, the odds are that your new travel destination will be better off as well!