Eco-Friendly Group Travel: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Is your carbon footprint larger than Godzilla's? Inside, find out how to turn group travel trips to the most exotic destinations into eco-friendly ones!

Eco-Friendly Group Travel: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Most of us love a good monster flick. The thrill cast by the first hint of what kind of creature will be lording its power over an unsuspecting world remains unmatched. It’s the middle of a city, rain’s pouring down, and the screen focuses on a crater. And once the camera zooms out, we can see the big picture. Or, a big footprint that changes everything in the fictional world in front of us. 

And that’s what footprints do. Whether they belong to a humongous beast on the screen or the effect we have on our surroundings, i.e., our carbon footprints, they can change everything! Everything we do, from driving to work to buying a BPA-laden plastic bottle of water has an impact on the environment. That includes travel and tourism–accounting for 8% of global carbon emissions!

Does that mean we should shame anyone imbued with wanderlust? Should we give up our dreams of seeing the world?Not at all! Eco-friendly group travel and reduction of carbon footprint are both possible. And today, we’ll be showing you exactly how. What’s more, some of the most gigantic footprint-owners will be accompanying us on this journey.

Leave daintier footprints by:

1. Smashing Your Mile High Club Membership


The Predator doing its part and only taking a plane when it can't be helped.

Want to know how to reduce carbon footprint? Start by minimizing air travel since taking just one flight produces more emissions than you would in an entire year. You may be generating more than 2.2 metric tons of CO2 with one round-trip flight from Chicago to London!

Of course, ditching the plane for a train or car isn’t always possible. In such cases, minimize the impact by:

  • Taking a direct flight–layovers mean use of extra fuel
  • Not flying business class–smaller number of passengers but for the same amount of emissions 

Traveling alone? Don’t forget to check out our women's travel group-approved tips for a safe solo trip!

2. Throwing the Car into Gear


The Kraken advises against prolonged cruises because they're bad for the environment.

Kick start your closer-to-home vacation group travel by replacing air travel with more sustainable transport, such as trains and charter buses. Biking can also be a good idea if you’re going on a solo trip. That said, if family and friends will be accompanying you, driving there would result in a lower carbon footprint. In other words, whether you’re signing up for group travel for singles or group travel companies, your mode of transportation should be one with the least impact on the environment. 

The graph below compares the amount of emissions produced by an individual passenger on a 200 mile trip based on their mode of transportation. For reference, 200 miles is approximately the distance of a flight between New York City and Washington D.C.


Stats Source

3. Pummel Your Luggage into Submission


Mothra's advice? Pack light; pack right!

It’s no brainer that group travel comes with a lot of baggage. However, the lighter you pack, the smaller carbon footprint you will leave behind. Additionally, a carry-on is more sustainable than checked-in luggage even if they both weigh the same. Just think of the energy spent on all the extra processes involved in your bags into the plane. 

Planning to attend a global festival but don’t know what to pack? Here’s how to look the part!

Sometimes, you can’t help but bring a ton of luggage while going on a trip. If that’s the case, you can reduce carbon footprint by also packing reusable items. Those can include:

  • Reusable mugs, water bottles, and straws
  • Toiletries, so you won’t create more waste from the single-use plastic bottles in hotels
  • Snacks, instead of anything from the mini bar
  • Clothing staples, so you can mix and match to create new outfits

4. Obliterate the Impact of Your Hotel Stays


King Kong, shown here protesting overpriced and environment-damaging hospitality businesses.

Besides thinking about transportation, you can zero in on one of the major ways to reduce carbon footprint, i.e., hotel stays. These establishments contribute almost 1 percent to global carbon emissions. And now we’ve got you thinking, I’m going on a vacation, don’t I deserve nice, luxurious accommodations?  

You totally do! All the best group travel companies usually have recommendations for green-certified lodges and hotels. Stay somewhere with an eco-label, such as:

  • Greenkey and EU Ecolabel during group travel Europe, or
  • The Caribbean and the Green Tourism Business Scheme in GB
  • EarthCheck if it’s Australia
  • The LEED certification when visiting the United States
  • In Latin America, look for Rainforest Alliance
  • The Green Globe certification–almost everywhere else

Then there are various locally owned green hotels and other efforts that protect the environment. You won’t just be an ecotourist if you stay there but you’d also be supporting the local economy and promoting sustainable travel. 

So, ask your group travel agency to arrange for a stay at:

5. Conquer the Local Temptations

Below, we suggest various other ways on how to reduce your carbon footprint while on vacation:

i. Ravage the Local Delicacies


Godzilla dishes out on its favorite menu items.

Visiting a new-to-you locale means you get to try out the local delectable cuisine. Opt for places that sell organic and culturally authentic food. That way, you can support the farmers and growers of the area and cut down on carbon emissions generated transporting food from other places. Locally sourced and planter’s requests are two terms that should come in handy in your search for such eateries. But you can also ask your group travel agency, hotel staff, or local shop owners for recommendations.

ii. Swoop in on Local Shopping Sprees


Even Kaijus need to shop, but they do so responsibly. So should you!

One more thing we should be practicing and drilling into our kids while on group travel for young adults concerns shopping. Favor small, singly-possessed, and locally-owned shops over large, foreign chains. That way, you skip the carbon emissions and transportation costs associated with the latter.

Similarly, when buying mementoes and souvenirs, opt for locally- and sustainably-made crafts. Don’t purchase from vendors involved in the hunting of endemic, exotic, or threatened species or unethical labor practices. 

Take a reusable bag with you and try to invest in stuff that you know will last as opposed to spending on fast fashion.

iii. Launch Yourself at Sustainable Activities


Xenomorphs never leave behind waste; only bodies!

It’s a fact that small group travel exerts a less severe environmental impact than large ones. So, always take that into account in your group travel planning. Now, once you’re on the ground, find environmentally friendly ways to enjoy your destination. For instance: 

  • Sign up for biking or walking tours and if sailing, don’t opt for power-engined boats. Hiring a vehicle? Go electric or choose a smaller one that also suits your family’s needs. Public transit is always the better option. As is carsharing.
  • Plan tours that combine experience and environmental benefits, like beach clean-ups–more on agrotourism below.
  • Pick guides and tour operators who are into sustainable and environmentally-responsible tourism.
  • Respect the local environment when on a group travel trip. For instance, don’t disturb the local fauna and flora during snorkeling or scuba diving.

Beach clean-ups are a win-win situation for the environment. But what about documenting the trip? Use these tips to take awesome beach pictures!

iv. Agrotourism


Sometimes, you just have to stop to smell the flowers and not trample them!

Agritourism activities combine tourism with sustainable farming practices. By partaking in them, you get to enjoy nature and educate yourself. 

Some group travel tours ideas in this vein include:

  • Vegetable- and fruit-picking or planting crops, visiting farms, milking cows, catching fish, and farm-to-table dining, such as in the Philippines
  • Regenerative farming at the Belmont Estate in Wraxall, UK
  • Berry picking and picnicking at the Berry Farm in Florida, US
  • Fish boils, labyrinth-walking, herb picking, and at the Lavender Labyrinth in Michigan, US
  • Visit to organic farms in Switzerland
  • Horse care helping in Portugal

While these are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint and have family fun, no vacation would be complete without picture-taking and sharing. We suggest uploading your clicks and videos to DropEvent for safekeeping and private sharing. Find out what makes the platform ideal for family vacation.

Conclusion


See you at the screening of the next awesome monster flick. Bye!

There’s no experience quite like traveling, especially group travel, where you get to enjoy sights and have novel experiences with the people you care about. And once you add the element of sustainability into the mix, you double the fun, do your social duty, and ensure those destinations keep thriving for future visits and coming generations. We hope you’ll put our tips to good use. 

Happy & green travels!

FAQs

1. How can you make your traveling more environmentally friendly?

You can reduce your carbon footprint by choosing group travel packages with eco-friendly goals in mind. See our blog above for even more ideas.

2. What are two ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while driving a car?

You can minimize the impact your car has on the environment by using it for group travel and carpooling, using fuel-efficient vehicles, and turning off the engine while waiting instead of letting it idle.

3. How can tourists have a positive impact on the environment when they travel?

Traveling can be associated with:

  • Conservation support: Preserving natural areas and cultural heritage sites
  • Environmental awareness: Developing an appreciation for the environment and promoting sustainable practices
  • Economic incentives: Support local businesses, brands, farmers, and growers

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