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Traveling Smart

Whether you are lucky enough to book a global adventure or content to hike through a local terrain, responsible traveling is a model to take along.

You might not think about your need to explore having much of an environmental effect, but when thinking in terms of the numbers of transnational travelers each year, it helps to watch your own steps.

According to the World Tourism Organization, international travel was up 5% in 2012, which was around a 22 million person increase since the previous year. That’s a lot of worldwide trekking.

And while there is no way to put a number on the amount of hikers, bikers and scores of other globe roamers, the nomadic natured out there can make a big environmental difference, either good or bad, when it comes to travel.

Factors including energy waste, pollution and unnatural corrosion from traveling, littering and tourist lodging can add up. So, if you are fortunate enough to get out of your normal surroundings for a time, considering how you travel is essential. Keeping a few things in mind can lesson your load and your impact.

Ripened travelers know that they must pack light and efficiently. Though you may want to bring along luxuries, pack only what you know you will need. Take your own reusable containers, like thermoses or water bottles, and don’t rely on purchasing only pre-packed products so you will not be creating excess waste.

If going to remote areas bringing along all of your tech gadgetry is probably not necessary, especially in places where electricity is limited.

Some good gear to have on hand, though, are devices like solar powered navigation systems. These come in a wide variety and are available with backup plans like rechargeable batteries and crank up methods just in case you are a bit reluctant to rely on one power source.

Another green innovation for travelers is smart equipment like mobile energy makers, which puts kinetic energy to use. By making your own electricity you are able to charge your necessities while you are on the go.

Though global travel requires it’s jet-setting, when you arrive at your destination walking or biking when possible as opposed to cab riding or other emissions producing ways of getting around can save energy and money. Also, consider renting alternate forms of transportation while on vacation. Many places lend out other wheeled options in lieu of automobiles to get around.

Also, smart explorers know that when you are going to buy anything, buy local. This saves money, but also gives back. Staying at locally supported inns, buying resident souvenirs and foods, as opposed to only targeting touristy destinations which often import merchandise from non-native areas, helps support local communities and indigenous ways of life.

Another neat way to help control your wandering carbon footprint is to travel by going through a retreat program that favors energy sustainability or a carbon offset vacation package. You can also take a volunteering while you vacation approach. Though you will have to put in some work, it will probably be rewarding and provide opportunities that allow you to visit places you might not otherwise be able to.

Check your traveling impact by inputting information into a carbon calculator. Doing this before your venture will prompt you to think about optimal ways to travel conscientiously.

Travel can provide aesthetic and cultural appreciation, and thinking sustainably allows you to explore without distressing natural surroundings or blazing a trail of waste behind you.

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