Expat travel: six simple tips to cut your environmental impact

May 10, 2022

Feeling concerned about the impact of your carbon emissions should not mean you never get to see distant friends and family. With many countries gradually loosening travel restrictions, this could be a good time to consider how you can make your future travel more sustainable.
The Local reached out to experts in the field, as well as picking our readers’ brains, to come up with a list of ways you can cut your environmental impact without cutting out travel.

We’ve also worked with our commercial partner bunq, an ethical and fully-licenced bank from the Netherlands, which plants trees as you spend when you join as a member of its new SuperGreen programme.

With their mission of making lives easier for their users in 30 European countries, bunq is especially popular among expats and internationals in France and Germany as well as climate-conscious travellers. It is available in seven languages (English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese).

Whether travelling for business or pleasure, remember that it’s vital to check current Covid-19 restrictions and advice before making plans. Now, here are six ways to make your travel greener:

Go SuperGreen now in Germany or Go SuperGreen now in France

1. Change how you count travel’s cost

While some changes are relatively straightforward – buy local when you’re away and opt for eco-focused accommodation – others “might need a change of thinking”, says Thomas Finkel, the Managing Director of sustainability consultancy Como Consulting.

One major way to change your thinking is to reassess the way you see ‘cost’. Travellers concerned about sustainability shouldn’t view cost as only a matter of price, but the true impact of their trip.

Kaitlyn Brajcich from Sustainable Travel International told The Local that travellers needed to take the time to realise how their actions can make a real difference. 

“One of the most powerful steps that you can take as a traveler is simply to educate yourself how your different actions create impacts, either positive or negative, so that you know how to be a more responsible traveler.”

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