Climate-friendly travel is all the rage. More and more people want to go on vacation by train rather than by plane or on a cruise ship. Because although the travel industry wants to gradually become climate neutral by 2050 with biofuel, fewer short-haul routes and modern planes and cruise ships, most providers are currently not that far away.
But what can everyone do to make travel more climate-friendly now? One thing must be said: no one has to do without traveling completely. Climate-friendly holidays are possible with these tips.
Travel more climate-friendly by train
Many environmentally conscious travelers already use them: the train. It is traditionally one of the most climate-friendly modes of transport – and since 2018 Deutsche Bahn has even used 100% green electricity for transporting passengers over long distances. According to Deutsche Bahn, its long-distance trains produce less than one gram of CO2 per passenger-kilometer. By 2038, the company even wants to operate entirely on electricity from renewable energies in all sectors.
When traveling abroad, these climatic effects can be put into perspective: many countries do not yet have electrified roads, so some travelers use diesel locomotives there. This is the case in much of the UK, for example. So, if you are serious about climate-friendly travel, it is best to find out about the conditions at your travel destination beforehand.
From now on, Deutsche Bahn will use its app to report over-full trains. (Symbol image)
Only drive a car when there is no other way
Of course, it is very convenient to travel by car – just put your suitcase and go. But the car’s carbon footprint is worse than that of any public transport, and is not exceeded by the plane until it arrives. Therefore, you should only use the car if there is no other way.
Our advice, so that the individual climate balance is at least a little better: Try to leave the car there as often as possible and do not travel alone. In case of doubt, it is also possible to allocate free places via a carpooling agency.
Find climate-friendly hotels or campsites
Compared to means of transportation, hotels usually have only a minor effect on the climate, but you can still improve your personal climate and environmental balance with these tips when staying at the hotel:
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Instead of turning on the air conditioning, you can open the window. Try not to ventilate and heat at the same time. Do not change the sheets and towels every day. Avoid shampoo portions in the bathroom. Avoid the daily cleaning of your room if you are staying longer. Swim in the ocean or in an unheated outdoor pool. Because heated swimming pools consume a lot of energy.
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Alternatively, there are many eco-hotels around the world that have climate-friendly buildings and, among other things, pay attention to recycling. Biohotels, for example, is an association of hotels in many European countries which are operated according to a fixed environmental catalog. Food and drinks are organically grown, only natural cosmetics are offered, you will only find recycled paper, and there is usually no air conditioning.
Camping is the most climate-friendly type of vacation
If you want to spend the night in an even more environmentally friendly way, then go camping. Camping is one of the most climate-friendly types of vacations. Because by dint of minimalism and renunciation, the CO2 footprint decreases. But beware: wild camping is banned almost everywhere in Germany. If you want to camp in the Federal Republic of Germany, you must go to a suitable campsite. In other European countries, wild camping is allowed in many places.
After camping, it’s time to clean your tent. (Symbol photo)
clear the way
Get a very inexpensive ticket from Deutsche Bahn now and travel through Germany for € 17.90!
Slow travel: Traveling slower means less CO₂
Traveling slowly means traveling slowly in order to discover a vacation destination more consciously. Ideally, this protects the climate. Because the more time you take for a destination, the less means of transport you use. At the same time, you are doing less activity, which means your personal carbon footprint is smaller.
Slow travel has another big effect – if you stay in one place for two weeks instead of two days, you make yourself less stressful and see and learn more from the locals.
Avoid waste while traveling
Those who only use tap water or returnable glass bottles at home have the problem in many holiday countries that there is no deposit system or that tap water does not exist. is not drinkable. Instead of rushing around for a single-use plastic bottle, single-use drink bottles can help.
In many airports there are now water dispensers with which you can fill them with drinking water for free. This service is also available in more and more hotels. When camping, outdoor filters can help purify the water using UV rays.
No coffee to go – enjoy coffee at a cafe instead
On short-haul flights, you can also do without food and drinks that are made in plastic packaging. At the vacation spot, not having take-out coffee makes a small difference. Instead of using the disposable dishes, you can just take a coffee break.
The same goes for a sandwich or a salad. Instead of buying your food from the supermarket, it is better to have your meals freshly prepared or prepared. So you often eat much better – and protect the environment.
In Mykonos, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy your coffee on a rooftop terrace.
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Choose your vacation activities wisely
The climate can also be protected by bringing together the activities of a trip. For example, bike rides are a way to leave the car at home. This way you will also experience your travel destination much more intensely. A hike has the same effect. In addition, a day of rest generates significantly less CO2 in your personal balance than a day full of activities.
You can also cycle on the backwater.
Anyone looking for local climate-friendly activities can now find advertisements on websites in several regions such as the Eifel. Often, suppliers who rely on green electricity and climate-neutral packaging are also considered.
In addition, a conscious choice of meals can help: You will protect the climate if you eat less meat and more vegetables. Because among other things, virgin forests are cleared for industrial breeding, while cattle breeding produces methane and nitrous oxide. Local products also eliminate long transport journeys.
Avoid the taxi, choose the tram, bus or bicycle
If you use public transport instead of a taxi during your vacation, you not only save money, but also CO2. According to the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD), you produce two thirds less CO2 when you travel by bus or train than with your own car. per year in Germany Less carbon dioxide is blown into the air, according to the VDC.
Of course, it’s even better to just take the bike. For example, sharing bikes is another way to experience a city in a more climate-friendly way. In addition to local bike rentals, there are also international bike sharing companies with suppliers such as Wind or Mobike. You can use the app to unlock bikes for driving, which you can just park on the sidewalk after the ride. The app shows you where the bikes are, calculates the trip costs and deducts them from your previously purchased credit.
Those who rent a bicycle are more climate-friendly when traveling.
Save CO₂ elsewhere with a donation
Despite all your good intentions, couldn’t you do without a flight or a cruise? Then you can at least offset the CO2 emissions a little with a donation. For example, various Internet portals have specialized in travel compensation. With providers like Atmosfair or Myclimate, you can calculate your trip’s CO2 emissions online based on flight data or vessel categories – and donate. Typically, reputable suppliers use it to finance climate protection projects in developing countries.
Many airlines now also have their own climate protection projects, which travelers can donate with the price of the flight when booking.