Do you have plans to travel to the USA soon? Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role for many tourists, especially in the case of distant travels such as to America. Below you will find 3 tips to travel to America in a more sustainable way. Also, donʼt forget to apply for an ESTA before your trip starts.
Make your journey more sustainable
The CO2 emissions from air travel are often high and there is a taboo on flying frequently these days. Yet we all want to discover new countries and travel far
It will not be possible to travel to the USA completely green, but there are some ways to make your trip more sustainable and become more aware of the climate and the impact of your holiday. This starts when applying for your ESTA and booking your accommodation, but there are also things you can consider during your trip.
1: CO2 compensation
A flight to the USA has high CO2 emissions. You can reduce your carbon footprint by, for example, booking a direct flight to your destination, thus limiting the number of flights. Often, when booking a flight, you can also choose to pay an extra amount that will go towards offsetting the emissions.
But did you know that you can also do this during your ESTA application? By checking this option in the online form, you will be charged an amount that depends on the mileage of the flight. This amount is then donated to Greenseat which invests it in climate projects.
Greenseat currently has three climate projects: two in Africa and one in India. In Africa, charcoal ovens and biogas installations are being installed, so that the local population uses less wood for cooking. Wood fires are bad for health and for the environment, so these projects improve living conditions but also the quality of nature. In India, windmills are installed so that the local population can use clean energy generated by windmills. By opting for carbon offsetting, you are making your trip more sustainable by investing in projects that generate sustainable energy and indirectly compensate for the CO2 emissions of the air travel..
An ESTA is a mandatory authorisation that is granted by the US Immigration Service to travellers who want to travel to the United States. An ESTA is valid for 2 years, costs £29.95 and can easily be applied for online.
2: Book sustainable accommodation
When planning your holiday, you will probably also need to book accommodation. You can then choose energy-efficient accommodation certified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. This council is committed to making tourism more sustainable by supporting hotels, and also gets local municipalities to think greener.
Hotels, bed and breakfasts and other accommodation with this certificate all deal with energy and water consumption in a sustainable way, but these accommodations also do a lot of good in terms of local tourism and social impact. By booking these hotels, you help to consume less energy and make your stay in the USA a little more sustainable.
3: Engage in local activities
Sustainable travel does not stop at reducing CO2 emissions, it is also about supporting local businesses. It is recommended to do as many local activities as possible, eat in local restaurants that use local food and support small businesses by buying your groceries and souvenirs in local, small shops. This way, you can experience the local culture and people even more, support the local economy and make your holiday more sustainable.
Although America is a huge country, not everything has to be done by car. You can do a lot on foot or by bike, or in some cities you can also take the metro or bus. This reduces the use of the car and you will see more of the city. America has many national parks where you can hike and in many cities there are bicycles for hire. Instead of a road trip, you could also consider a train journey across the USA.
By following these tips, you can still travel far away in a greener and more sustainable way and do your bit to improve the climate and support the local culture.