Sustainable Travel Choices for the Whole Family
Living in Copenhagen, we have embraced Denmark’s progressive and sustainable lifestyle. In the Danish capital, it’s easy to be green. Denmark has practically terraformed it for us. We live car-free, commuting by bicycle and public transportation. If travel requires it, we can rent a car for a road trip, but in town, we love the freedom afforded on our bikes.
When you visit, hop on a bike. Take the metro. Rent an electric boat and tour the clean harbor. Try the Nordic cuisine. In Copenhagen, it’s easy to find organic food. Many restaurants offer biodynamic, vegetarian and vegan options on their menus.
But what about when you travel? Can you still prioritize sustainable options?
Yes. Yes is the answer. I believe that choosing green travel does not have to equal making sacrifices, but making better choices. And every little choice counts.
But what does that mean? Make sustainable travel choices?
I have a five-fingered approach on how I plan and enjoy a new destination. It goes something like this.
1. HOW DO I GET THERE?
We can take the train here in Copenhagen to places like lovely little Roskilde or Lund, Sweden for the day. But what if need to fly? Some airlines are just better than others. Do some research. Take direct flights, book the cheap seats and pack light. All will lower your carbon footprint.
The impact of your long distance flight is NOT awesome for the environment. Planes emit carbon dioxide directly into the atmosphere. That does not rock. … There are ways to mitigate the impact of your travel needs.” – Green Travel Series | Eco-Air Choices
2. CAN I STAY SUSTAINABLE?
You’re still in the planning stages. You can make green choices for where you stay. Use shared economy lodging. Try Airbnb, apartment rentals, home shares or couch surfing. Feel more comfortable in a hotel? Verify green practices before you book.
3. AM I EATING GREEN?
This doesn’t always mean going vegan, which I can not claim to be. Ideally, we’d all eat organic locally sourced and produced food at home and abroad. But what if that isn’t available where you want to go? Focus on local. Try new flavors in season and know that your food hasn’t traveled as far to reach your plate. Support local growers and locally-owned restaurants. That delicious cardamom bun from the local Swedish bakery – that counts.
4. DOES MY EXPLORING ENGAGE AND/OR BENEFIT THE LOCALS?
Looking for local purveyors and not corporate chains is one way I dial in my sustainability quotient when exploring. I like sampling what makes a place unique and can support the local economy this way. Choose tours and experiences that benefit and employ locals and don’t engage in the mistreatment of animals.
5. CAN I LIMIT MY IMPACT ON A PLACE?
This is an especially important one when out exploring in nature. Not leaving trash, respecting the space and leaving the landscape as we found it, are all lessons we can easily model for our littles. Limit the plastic that ends up in the oceans; bring a reusable water bottle and shopping sack for all those locally sourced goods.
HIGH FIVE FOR GREEN TRAVEL
At every point in our travel planning and execution, we can be conscious of our impact. Being aware is the first step. Want to know more? Follow my Green Travel series for more tips and tricks to stay sustainable here in Copenhagen and on the road.