10 Tips to travel Sustainable as a Digital Nomad
1. Try to minimize your flights
Flights are probably the biggest part of your Carbon pollution. By minimizing your flights you will have the biggest positive impact. If you can take an alternative way of transport like train or car. Tips 2, 3 and 5 will further help you accomplish this.
2. Schedule your travels
This tip is related to the first tip. By planning your travel plans ahead you will avoid many unnecessary flights. When visiting Bali, try to explore all the countries in Asia you would like to see. Don’t travel back and forth from Europe, to Asia, to America. By exploring one region you can get much better experience of the region. It usually takes two weeks for your body to adjust to new temperatures. By staying in the area you will avoid this process and optimize you time. Furthermore it will help you save money, and spare you from those terrible jetlags.
3. Take a direct flight
A direct flight will make sure you travel the least kilometers necessary. Each extra KM will use more fuel and will cause a larger footprint. An extra advantage is that you will save a lot of time and arrive at your destination feeling much more fit and ready to go. Direct flights are more comfortable, time savers and better for the environment.
4. Fly light
This is a bit tricky for the sporty types among us (hello kitesurfers), but try to reduce your weight while traveling. This is probably not a big issue for most digital nomads; as some of us make a sport out of traveling with as little luggage as possible. The luggage and people of a plane make up about one fourth of the total weight. A few extra kilogram might not look like much, but having less luggage might allow for more passengers to fit in one plane. Or for a plane to require less fuel. Besides that, we all know that traveling light is a much better experience then hauling two packed suitcases you never use.
5. Travel local
Have you explored your own region already? Probably not. With the era of cheap flights and long distance travel we often overlook the beauties of our own region. We have personally exchanged some of our long distance travels for local road trips. Not only did we cause a lot less carbon polution, we loved driving around our own region and seeing regions we had never visited yet. There are always some gems around you have not visited yet. Maybe skip on another visit to Brazil or Bali and take your car for a spin.
6. Settle down (for a bit)
Yes, this might sound boring. By settling down you will logically make much less travel kilometers. There are many advantages of staying in one place for longer. You have time to experience local culture, get to know some of the local traditions, figure out the best cafe, make some real friends, find the best beach, etc. It is easy to mix up Digital Nomad lifestyle with a never ending holiday, but sometimes slowing down enhances the experience. Try and see how you like it.
7. Share your rides
There are some great ride-sharing platforms available online. You’ll be surprised how many local facebok groups there are around. One of the easiest platforms currently available is called BlaBla car. It is easy to find rights from one destination to another. You can also offer your own ride for other people to join you. It takes just a few minutes and is a fun and economical way to travel.
8. Drive eco-friendly
We have written an article about driving more sustainble. It is mainly about taking some proper precautions that enhance both the comfort of driving and the fuel usage. This will help save you money on fuel. Try to limit your speed and enjoy the surrounding scenrey.
9. Take the train
Train is the most eco-friendly way of travel after biking or walking. Train is often the most comfortable way to travel. In some regions it is also a beautiful way to explore. You go over old rain tracks, straight through old mountain passages and unexplored regions. Trains will go through places you usually would never come. It is easy, comfortable and often there is even wifi on board;). The EU is currently debating about whether to move subsidies from flying to trains in order to make it more affordable. Flights are highly subsidized, trains are not.
10. Eat local
We all love our smashed-avo and açai bowls; but often there are many local delicacies waiting to be tried. Funny enough many us start our travel to explore something new, but we end up with the same habits we had at home. Avocado’s and Açai is often brought in overseas and has a large carbon footprint. See if you like the more local fruits and vegetables. Not only will you be surprised about the local treats, it is a great chance to experience new cultures and meet some of the local people.
If you can, try to reduce your consumption of meat. If going vegetarian sounds too much for you, just try to focus on eating less meat. Eating a lot of meat is linked to a wide range of diseases. By eating less you will take better care of both yourself and the planet.