Summer is a prime time to get out of your normal routine and explore someplace new. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, you can have fun on a trip while watching your carbon footprint. Here are 5 ways to level up your travel this summer:

1.  Choose Your Summer Destination Wisely: Where To Go

If you’re vacationing with the family or with friends, we suggest picking a place that promotes sustainable tourism. If you’re looking to explore a new country, some places that are known for their ecotourism include: Costa Rica, Spain, Singapore, and Greenland. But, if you’re wanting to stay a bit closer to home, Rocky Mountain National Park, The Florida Keys, Maine, Sanibel Island, Halfmoon Bay, or the Appalachian Trail might be great options to consider. 

If you can’t choose a location known for its ecotourism, you can channel your eco-friendly efforts in the way you get from here to there. 

2.  To Fly or to Drive?: How To Get There

Depending on how far you have to travel, the way there will look different. In terms of sustainability, you’ll find the 2 most common forms of transport actually release the highest CO2 emissions. 

The transportation industry makes up about 28% of the total greenhouse gas emissions every year, according to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency study in 2022. Making up this 28%, your normal, gas-powered cars and trucks release about 82% of the total carbon emissions in the industry, while planes make up around 9% of these emissions.

Instead of taking a plane or car, take to the railways and hop on a train. Trains are both eco-friendly and fast, while emitting 66-75% fewer carbon emissions than cars and planes. Additionally, buses, boats, subway systems, walking, or biking are options that are both eco-friendly and practical. 

It’s not just the traveling part of your trip either. During your stay, taking advantage of public transportation systems is not only a way to decrease your carbon footprint, but it’s also a way to experience the new place as a local does. Walk to dinner, bike around a park, take the bus to a museum, and more! There are many ways to have fun on vacation while living sustainably! 

2 Donut Graphs Showing Percent of Greenhouse Gases Released by Industry as well as by Mode of Transportation according to the US Environmental Protection Agency

3.  Home Away From Home: Where To Stay

To travel sustainably, you must also take into consideration the place you’ll be staying. Opt for sustainable lodging options whenever you can, whether it be a hotel or Airbnb, Vrbo, or something else. 

What does it mean to be “sustainable lodging”? It can be defined as “establishments that have a holistic approach to sustainability, implementing practices that minimize harm to the environment and have a positive impact on local communities.” 

This can look like a hotel or rental home that runs exclusively on renewable energy, supplying eco-friendly cleaning products, using solar panels for hot water, and implementing a reusable system for rainwater. It can also include being constructed using green materials or with sustainability in mind. 

Additionally, sustainable lodging extends to how the building interacts with the community and wildlife around it. 

  • Is it built in such a way that preserves the natural habitats of animal life? 
  • Does the hotel locally source its food to support small farmers? 

A sustainable lodging place will be on the positive side of change with all of these questions. Choosing an eco-friendly lodging place will exponentially decrease the amount of water, energy, and food you waste. 

4.  Bring Sustainability With You: What to Pack

If you have been the lucky winner of one of our custom LGC Stanleys on our social media, go ahead and bring that reusable water bottle with you on your trip and save some turtles by not using single-use plastic water bottles.

Sustainability can start right in your suitcase by packing only what you need, as well as things that can have multiple purposes. The goal is to minimize the use of plastic as much as possible. So, pack your own reusable food containers, canvas bags for shopping, reusable straws and water cups. 

Plastic pollution is one of the largest issues in our environment right now. By bringing your own reusable materials, you can stop plastic from getting into our oceans, rivers, lakes, and soil. 


5.  Green Eating: Sustainable Dining

Lastly, a great way to implement sustainable practices while you travel, is how you engage with every meal. Eating out is a great opportunity to get to know the local cuisine, so make sure you’re choosing restaurants that support sustainability.  

Great restaurants will have a tangible, eco-friendly strategy built into their framework, so that everything they do tackles the 3 Rs. When choosing a restaurant, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Do they source from local farms? 
  • Do they have a sustainable food waste program?
  • Does their building run on renewable energy? 
  • Do they prioritize eco-friendly, recyclable products? 

If the answer is “yes” to these questions, eating there will definitely lower your carbon footprint while traveling.  A great example of this is the restaurant Eden in Chicago. To hear more about their incredible sustainability strategy, read more here. 

If you’re traveling this summer, you can have an amazing time, in a cool location, while doing your part to save the Earth. Each eco-friendly decision you make, you’re saving an incredible amount of wildlife as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Together we can build a better future for us and the next generations!


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About EnviroStaff 

EnviroStaff is a division of LGC that focuses on making placements in the environmental industry. We build partnerships with clients to fill open positions on their team and have recruiting capabilities within multiple markets throughout the U.S. Working closely together, EnviroStaff will recruit environmental industry professionals based on your job description and requirements. By making direct hire placements, EnviroStaff can help clients save time and money often associated with recruiting.