Reducing Travel’s Impact on the Environment

Friday, July 9, 2021 09:02:56 AM America/Los_Angeles

Whether it’s flying to a business meeting or driving to see a family member, travelling is a necessary and inevitable part of modern living. As our world has become increasingly global, the growing amount of travel has taken a toll on the environment. The EPA estimates nearly a third of all greenhouse emissions can be attributed to travel.

Though it’s nearly impossible to abstain from travel, there are ways we can reduce the impact it has on the planet. Read on for some ideas about how to minimize the environmental effects of travel without sacrificing the activities that you love to do! 

Photo by Dino Reichmuth

Take a “Road Trip” via Train

Cars aren’t the only way to hit the road for an adventure. Trains also contribute to pollution, but taking a train also means that you’ll be relying on more eco-friendly options such as buses and subways when you’re on the ground. If you’re travelling outside of the U.S., even better, as many countries now have electric trains that drastically reduce the amount of pollution. Plus, you’ll be able to save your energy for actually exploring instead of driving. 

Plan Larger Family Gatherings

If you visit family frequently but they’re scattered throughout the country, consider having a family reunion style gathering so that you can see everyone in one trip instead of making multiple trips. 

Pack Light

More weight = more fuel = more emissions. Even though it may feel like you need 10 pairs of shoes for your vacation, you likely won’t wear them all. The lighter your luggage, the less fuel is required to transport it. You might think, “How much could a couple of extra shirts and shoes weigh anyway?” But if everyone on a flight of 200 people reduced their luggage weight by even five pounds, that would be a reduction of 1000 pounds!

Eat and Drink Local

If you’re travelling, you might as well enjoy the local flavors! Opt for a dine-in meal or some freshly baked pastries instead of fast food, which generates a lot of single use packaging. Eating local also means meals were created from ingredients that didn’t have to travel cross country to end up on your table.  

Unplug Your Home

You might be 3,000 miles away, but what’s happening inside your home still affects the environment. Unplug any appliances that don’t need to be left on (computers, TVs, etc.). Or, use a smart plug so that you can at least reduce the amount of time things like lights are on.  

Reuse and Recycle

Reusing and recycling is important when you’re away from home, too! Instead of tossing single use plastics, consider holding onto them to reuse as needed. For example, reuse (plastic) bags when going to the store and then use them to store things like dirty laundry that need to be taken back home. 


Bark Potty partners with 1% for the Planet to donate 1% of our sales to One Tree Planted. 1% for the Planet is a network of businesses that have committed to taking responsibility for the environmental impacts of their various industries. 1% for the Planet encourages businesses to practice corporate responsibility by facilitating donations to grassroots environmental organizations such as One Tree Planted. Each Bark Potty purchase you make further supports our collective efforts to reduce the ecological footprint that humans have left on the environment!