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It’s summer vacation season, which means travel is in the cards for many this time of year. But before you pack your bags or book your next trip, spend a little time thinking about your travel footprint. Are there aspects of your vacation that could be more sustainable?

One of my favorite resources for slow, ethical, and sustainable travel tips is Bucketlist Bri. For more tips to travel sustainably, visit her posts on Responsible Travel. You can also head to Sustainable Travel International to learn more about the how’s and why’s behind responsible tourism! For now, here’s a few tips to get you started on your sustainable travel journey:

  • Overland travel. While this year’s travel arrangements are likely booked already, we can’t have a sustainable travel Cool Tip without mentioning the elephant in the plane room. Air travel is a huge source of CO2 emissions, so opting for travel by car, train, or bus can drastically lower your carbon footprint. If air travel is a must, opt for offsetting your carbon when booking the flight!
  • Bring your reusable water bottle. If you’re flying by plane, there’s a common misconception that you can’t bring your reusable water bottle through TSA. But this is false! Your reusable water bottle is allowed to join you on your flight, just be sure to drink the contents before going through TSA — you can refill it on the other side of security.
  • Avoid single-use plastics. Even when you’re traveling, remember to pack a reusable shopping bag, reusable utensils, and, again, your reusable water bottle. If you’re going somewhere with questionable water quality, consider investing in a bottle with a strong water purifier. Here’s one from REI.
  • Act like a local. Shop local, eat local, and lodge at locally owned locations. When you live like a local (even when you’re not one), you support the community that you’re visiting, benefiting their economy while reducing your emissions.