Travel awakens the soul in ways that we can never anticipate. It’s a journey for the senses, during which you can soak up everything around you.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to try heli-skiing in the backcountry, go skating on a frozen lake, or join a snowmobile tour through an enchanted winter forest — it’s just a matter of devising a plan and following through.
But right now, we’re all aware of the impact we have on the planet, and if there are ways for us to travel more sustainably, you can count us in.
With that in mind, we’ve partnered with Red Arrow to celebrate sustainability and list five ways you can become a more eco-conscious traveller this year.
Planning a road trip this year? Get to know your city and province the stress-free way by leaving the car at home and taking the bus. Red Arrow, Alberta’s family-owned coach service, gives you the chance to sit back and take in the sights, watch a free movie (with free snacks), or get some work done on the road with free WiFi — all while reducing your carbon footprint. No CO2-producing air travel required.
In 2019, the service prevented 950 million kilometres of car travel, saved over 18 million gallons of fuel, and took 550,000 cars off the road, all while reducing carbon emissions by 85%.
Pack a reusable tote bag
Did you know that plastic can linger in the environment for up to 600 years? (Scary, right?) Many towns, states, and cities have banned disposable plastics bags to better protect the environment — from Leaf Rapids in Manitoba to LA, Seattle, Mexico City, and Hawaii.
Here in Canada, up to 15 billion plastic bags are used every year. By packing a reusable tote in your travel bag, you’re already making a little positive impact on the world. Plus, you have a bag at the ready when you need it.
Bring your own reusable cutlery
In Canada, close to 57 million plastic straws are used daily. Every year, approximately one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled.
It can be tempting while travelling to throw your environmental practices to the wind, but you can get ahead of this by packing small, sustainable products like a metal straw or travel size cutlery kit. Treat the city or country you’re visiting like you’d want a tourist to treat your own.
Book an eco-friendly tour
Nobody knows a place like the locals, right? That’s why joining a locally-led eco-friendly tour when you arrive at your destination is a great way to discover hidden gems.
Whether it’s a bike tour through a historic downtown area or a wine region, or perhaps an art crawl walking tour, you’re sure to absorb more information than if you created your own DIY tour. Another bonus is the fact that you’ll be getting some exercise in at the same time.
When you’re travelling, reduce waste (and your carbon footprint) by choosing food that’s grown and produced locally. Whether it’s eggs Benedict for breakfast, mushroom soup and a sandwich for lunch, or a vegan burger for dinner, eating at local restaurants and cafes allows you to enjoy fresh food and support local businesses.
Doing this also presents an opportunity to meet and chat with locals, as opposed to eating a snack alone. After all, everyone knows the best conversations happen over delicious food.
Oftentimes, all it takes is exploring what lies beyond your doorstep to gain a real, humbling appreciation for travel.
Start your journey to becoming a more eco-conscious traveller this year with Red Arrow. For more information and to book your first trip, visit redarrow.ca.