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Tread Lightly: Sustainability Tips for the Conscious Traveler

Tread Lightly: Sustainability Tips for the Conscious Traveler

Recover Brands Recover Brands
4 minute read

It’s officially summer, which means that the days are long and the open road calls for adventures near and far.  Whether you’re taking a vacation or crafting a weekend getaway, you can make a big impact by being conscious of sustainable travel practices.  The key is to enjoy exploring, while keeping in mind the vulnerability of the local environments and the communities that call them home.


Here are our top 5 Sustainability Tips for your summer travel…


1. Plan for fresh air and reduced carbon emissions.

The tourism industry emits over 4.5 gigatonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide​ each year, and that number has continued to rise in recent years, contributing to climate change and its ever increasing effects.  This summer is a great opportunity to cut the carbon emissions of your travels and whenever possible, walk, bike, or use public transportation to get around.  Take the opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, ease of not driving, or adventure of figuring out something new.  This may come into play when you get to your destination, but you can also consider planning trips that start and end at your front door.  Check out our Local Supply Cycle for inspiration for dreaming up a trip that brings you deeper into new places you’ve never explored that are close to home. 

2. Pick eco-friendly accommodations and destinations.

Certain accommodations work to reduce and minimize negative environmental impacts and maximize positive benefits to local communities.  As with anything sustainable, it can be tough to navigate green-washing, but looking to see if there are eco-certification organizations in the region of your trip is a good start.  These organizations vary in standards, but generally look to award accommodations that practice social responsibility and minimize carbon emissions, water use, and waste.  If there aren’t any organizations, you can research your options with the same considerations in mind.

3. Go for motor-free recreation and vacation activities.

In consideration of reducing carbon emissions, look into motor-free recreation and vacation activities for your summer travel.  Zip-lining, paddle boarding, biking, local food tasting, music and art- the options are endless. Find a biking bar tour, such as the Amazing Pubcycle in Asheville, or take a local-food cooking class, such as those offered at some farmers markets or through local restaurants and chefs.  There’s tons to do sans-motor!

4. Pack a water bottle, mug, utensils, and clothes that hold up on the road.

What you pack is key.  The small things add up, so always be sure to pack your reusable water bottle, mug, and utensils so you’re ready for anything on the road and can reduce single-use plastic waste.  About 1.35 billion plastic bottles are thrown away every year, 50 billion coffee cups, and 6 million tons of non-durable plastic items including single-use plastic utensils.  Environmental and human health repercussions of plastic waste are increasing, so many are taking action by using reusable staples- doing so at home and while traveling is key to curbing impacts.  Packing sustainable and durable clothing is key too- many summer adventures mean more wear and less wash for clothes, so pack your Recover favorites and you know you’ll be set for whatever comes your way.

5. Drink “Near Beer” and Eat and Shop Local.

According to Decarbonate, over 20% of an average beer’s carbon emissions are from transportation.  Seeking out “near beer”- AKA local brews- while traveling is huge, and what better way to get acquainted with a place than to get a taste of the local hops and flavors?  Eating local also supports reducing your summer travel’s carbon emissions while also getting to dive into local culture and flavors. Shopping at locally-owned and minded stores while you travel can further help contribute to the local economy of wherever you are visiting.

Enjoy summer and wherever your adventures take you!

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