The Most Eco-Friendly Ways To Travel (And The Least!)

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It’s fair to say that everyone looks forward to traveling. We all want to get away from our homes and experience something new once in a while. There’s a special kind of joy that comes from traveling the world and experiencing different cultures – it’s something everyone needs to try. 

Naturally, tourism is starting to increase as the world opens back up. However, during the pandemic, we saw massive changes to the planet and our ecosystem. Pollution decreased, the oceans got cleaner, and it almost seemed like the world was healing. Many experts partly suggested this was because people could no longer travel, seeing as the tourism industry has a long history of not being very eco-friendly. With that in mind, we want to enjoy the benefits of travel once more, but without wrecking the planet. 

Much comes down to the way in which you travel to and from destinations. So, here’s a look at the most eco-friendly ways to travel, along with the least:

<iframe src=”https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/carbon-footprint-travel-mode” loading=”lazy” style=”width: 100%; height: 600px; border: 0px none;”></iframe>

Trains

In general, trains are the most eco-friendly way of getting from A to B. This is because they tend to use more renewable energy sources, and they don’t produce carbon emissions. Modern trains are electric, and many train systems are either fully powered by renewable sources, or heavily subsidized. 

As the chart above shows, a typical train journey will yield 41 g of CO2 per passenger per kilometer. This puts it way down at the bottom of the table when compared to other transportation options!

Electric vehicles

Cars are not that eco-friendly at all. In fact, they account for the majority of carbon emissions on the planet. Anyway, electric cars are a lot better, with a much smaller carbon footprint (as seen above). 

The reason for this is obvious: electric vehicles generally have a much lower carbon footprint as they don’t generate any emissions while you drive. So, if you are thinking of traveling somewhere, and driving is an option, be sure you drive an electric car instead of a regular one. 

Airplanes

In terms of the least eco-friendly ways to travel, airplanes come out on top…or bottom, depending on how you view things! They simply generate more carbon emissions per passenger than any other option, which is why travelers are being encouraged to move away from flights where possible. 

Obviously, there are times where you physically need to get on a flight. That’s okay, and you shouldn’t feel bad for doing so – people drive gas-guzzling cars every single day, they are doing more damage to the environment than you are when you travel! However, it can give you a clearer conscience if you find more eco-friendly ways to travel wherever possible. 

To summarize, try to take the train if there is an affordable and feasible option available for where you’re going. It is the greenest way to travel, so you can feel a lot more comfortable when touring your next destination. Nobody wants to prevent tourism, but we can all do our bit to help the environment while we travel. 

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