Travel Smart: How to Stay Fit and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint While Traveling

Sustainable travel is on the rise. According to’s 2019 report, 70% of people will opt for the more sustainable travel option when offered. This is due to the global acknowledgement of the positive impact responsible tourism can have in natural areas and the local population.

So, what exactly is sustainable travel? This refers to tourism that leads to the management of all resources in such a way that economic, social, and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biodiversity, and life-support systems.

Travel Smart: How to Stay Fit and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint While Traveling )

However, it isn’t only the health of the planet travelers should be mindful of. Your own health is just as important. The number one way to reduce your carbon footprint and stay fit is to be mindful of your transportation methods, where you are able to do so.

The best way to travel sustainably and get fit while doing so is to get on foot if possible for you. Before I was disabled, I tried to walk everywhere as much as possible both for my health and the environment. Now, I carry a cane. If walking is possible for you, you should do it when you can. Be sure to pack an eco-friendly and comfortable sneaker for this! Cariuma offers sustainable men’s sneakers and women’s sneakers that are perfect for exploring the city, beach, and forest.

While overall efficiency ratings change with the number of passengers and distance traveled, in general the most eco-friendly transportation method for distance travel according to National Geographic is travel by diesel bus. Bus travel is followed in efficiency by trains, and then by cars. The least environmentally friendly way to travel is by plane.

On your next trip, skip the taxi and choose to walk to lunch instead. Throw your luggage on your back and walk across town when it’s time to catch the bus to your next destination. You’ll save the planet, get your workout in, and see more of your destination this way!

Looking for other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and your waistline while out exploring? Consider the following when planning your next getaway: 

  • Eat less meat. Meat production contributes to CO2 in the atmosphere, habitat destruction, water pollution, and drought. Consuming meat leads to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and acne.
  • Shop local. This decreases or eliminates shipping distance while also taking your money out of the hands of large manufacturing facilities. It has been proven that local foods are healthier for you as well. Locally grown products can provide the phytonutrients needed to fight allergens and pollutants present in the area.
  • Choose reusable products for items such as water bottles and shopping bags when possible*. Single use plastics leads to land pollution, water pollution, and wildlife endangerment. Buy reusable items once and you’ll save money and the environment. *Some people–especially people with disabilities–need plastic straws and other single-use plastic products.
  • Use environmentally responsible travel and tour agencies. Book your trip, and add on that excursion! Just make sure to do your diligence on the company you book with and ensure they are making responsible and sustainable choices in their business ventures. 

Chloe Kirby

Chloe Kirby is a writer and digital marketing professional. She earned her B.A. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Master's Degree at Goldsmith University in London, England. Chloe has professional experience in e-commerce, digital marketing, and copyrighting. She has been working in New York for the past year.

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