The Best Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint When You’ve Been Bitten by the Travel Bug

Traveling long distances isn’t exactly environmentally friendly, and it’s not exactly a great idea during a global pandemic when vaccines aren’t universally available. So, how do you travel responsibly without generating carbon emissions (or risking COVID-19)? These are a few creative travel ideas that won’t blow up your carbon footprint when you hit the road. Here are the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint when you want to travel.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”

Mark Twain

So, travel has always been considered a good thing, and foregoing it can run the risk of limiting our experience of the world. However, while travel can enrich us in countless ways, globetrotting doesn’t exactly do the planet any favors. How do we travel responsibly?

Well, getting out and about doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hop on a fossil fuel-consuming plane – you have other options, and some of them are more creative than traditional travel. (They’re definitely less expensive!)

Take a “staycation.”

This has become almost a cliché (well… maybe it is a cliché), but taking a break and exploring your own backyard has numerous merits. How much do you really know about your own city?

Most of us don’t explore our own home towns very thoroughly. There are probably neighborhoods you rarely visit, with restaurants and libraries you haven’t enjoyed or perhaps even known were there. Put on a mask and take a walking tour of different regions. Stop in local parks and take in the architecture. Your smartphone can act as a comprehensive brochure.

Start researching your city and county’s history. There will definitely be more historical points of interest than you can reasonably visit, but the attempt will give you a greater appreciation of your community and your local resources. You might even discover material for a documentary!

Take a virtual tour.

The pandemic has created an explosion of virtual resources that enable people to take advantage of resources they hadn’t previously known about. Many libraries have virtual readings by local authors, and museums have started offering virtual tours. One Los Angeles touring company, Esotouric, which specializes in investigating the little-appreciated and sometimes bizarre corners of the city, has started providing online versions of tours that were previously given in-person!

Take a world music tour.

Music is one of the most fascinating windows into another culture. If you always wanted to visit a certain part of the world, you can visit it through its music. Listen to some of the most popular and respected musicians of different regions – you can probably find playlists on YouTube – and learn about the different music styles and dances.

Learn a new language.

There will come a time when you just have to visit a new place, and when you do, it will help to have some familiarity with the language. Start immersing yourself in learning a new language. This is also a great introduction to different cultures, and it gives you an excuse to watch international films for purely educational purposes!

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