Eco-tourism has become a very popular trend that is expected to stay. In 2019, global tourists spent an estimated $181 billion on sustainable travel. That figure probably dropped a lot during the pandemic but is expected to make a strong rebound in the next few years. Industry experts project that the global eco-tourism industry will be worth over $330 billion by 2027.
One of the things that you need to do as a sustainable tourist is how to reduce your carbon footprint while flying. Of course, you can make a difference by flying less (which is something 60% of British citizens are willing to do), but you can be a sustainable tourist even if you do fly.
Some steps that you can take to be a more socially responsible traveler when taking cheap Gulf air flights are listed below.
Find the most environmentally friendly airport
Some people question whether airlines can ever be truly sustainable. They actually can and many have taken steps to do so.
You might think that there is a little difference between airports, especially when it comes to the technology behind their airplanes. However, the differences are much bigger than you might expect.
When it comes to sustainability, there are tremendous differences between various airlines. National Geographic reports that the most sustainable airline is 51% more environmentally friendly than the least sustainable one.
One of the most important things that you can do as an eco-tourist is choose the most sustainable airline. This can go a long way towards helping you reduce your carbon footprint while traveling.
Try taking a flight without a stopover
You probably don’t like the idea of having a stopover anyways. However, many tourists choose to book flights with stopovers, because they are often cheaper.
The downsides might easily outweigh the cost savings, though. These flights aren’t just more inconvenient. They also are usually worse for the environment. You are going to need to be on two separate flights, which means that you will be responsible for more fuel consumption. The only scenario where a flight with a stopover could be better for the environment is if it is necessary to keep flights fully occupied. However, this is not usually the case.
You should try looking for flights that don’t have a stop. You should be able to fly more environmentally friendly this way.
Leave nonessential at home
When you are trying to be a more sustainable traveler, it is a good idea to pack like a minimalist. There are a lot of things that you simply don’t need to bring on the plane. These include multiple gadgets (you should be able to make do with just your smartphone and possibly a computer), shampoo and soap (any hotels or hosts you visit should have them), more than one pair of shoes (unless you have a good reason, such as going hiking), a hairdryer and any clothes that you don’t intend to wear.
You need to remember that the plane is going to consume more fuel if you bring more weight on board. It doesn’t matter whether you are carrying items on or checking your luggage. Either way, it is a lot eco-friendlier to pack as light as possible.
Keep the shades lowered
This is an overlooked sustainable tourism hack that most people don’t know about. You can help be a more environmentally conscious traveler by lowering the shades to your window when you are flying. You can raise them if you need to look out for something, but it is a good idea to keep them lowered if you are planning on reading, sleeping or watching a movie.
How could this possibly make a difference? The light outside can cause the aircraft to warm up. Airplanes generate a lot more heat than you probably think, so they have to use a lot of energy to help keep them cool. You will want to keep the shades lowered to help call the plane down. If all travelers did this, then they could lower the temperature by up to 10°.
Make it a priority to fly the most stainable way possible
If you are truly serious about lowering your carbon footprint, then you need to be an environmentally conscious tourist. This entails following a variety of eco-friendly practices while traveling.
One of the most important things that you should do is know how to fly in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. You can do a lot by choosing airlines properly and minimizing the amount of weight that you carry. You will feel a lot better knowing that you are reducing your impact on the environment.
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