Although travel is a great way to enjoy life and destress, it comes at a price. We end up adding to the carbon footprint and consequently become a factor in harming the environment. However, that is not to say that we must completely cut travel out of our lives. Being aware is the first step. And then of course, making smarter choices and being mindful while travelling also helps.

An airports is run on stupendous amount of energy each day, be it electricity or fuels. Millions of water bottles and food wrappers are tossed into the bin by passengers. But the biggest problem of them all is air pollution: the aviation industry accounts for about 2% of global CO2 emissions. And every time you take a long-haul trip, you are likely to double your annual carbon footprint.

The airlines are taking measures to do their bit; they replace planes with the ones that are designed to use less fuel. Even if the aircraft uses 20% less fuel, it’s a big achievement. Adding small, upright winglets to the aircrafts is another great development as it reduces drag, thereby saving fuel and cutting emissions. Also, a light weight carrier burns less fuel. So the lighter the aircraft, the better for the environment. Now here’s a few things the passengers can do to promote responsible and conscious travel.

Combine vacations

Instead of taking several weekend jaunts, that will obviously require taking regular flights, see if you are happy taking one longer vacation with a single round-trip. If helping the environment brings you peace, this shouldn’t be such a bad idea for you to start with.

Take more trains

Believe it or not, you can travel the world without taking flights all the time. There are other fantastic modes of transport that’s quite fun if time isn’t a problem for you. Trains, buses, bikes, even cars – people have started covering distances on those, and they love every bit of their slow travel.

Fly economy class

Studies have showed that the carbon footprint is four times higher for a business class seat than for economy because of the weight of larger seats, more crew members, and niceties such as real plates and glasses. Also, opt for non-stop flights because planes use more fuel during take off and landing than while cruising.