Traveling allows us to experience so many beautiful places around the world that would otherwise just be foreign lands. Though traveling opens us up to new cultures, natural wonders, people, and experiences, it can also negatively impact the environment. According to the Air Transport Action Group, the aviation industry is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transport sources and road transport is responsible for 74%.
Luckily, many companies are realizing the toll the industry is taking on the planet, and are working to make travel more sustainable by introducing carbon offset programs, capping greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing water waste. That being said, here are three companies that are making a substantial impact on sustainable travel.
Hopper is a mobile app that helps people book cheap flights and hotels up to one year in advance, and promises to save you money with up to 95% accuracy. Recently, the company has started to offer free carbon offsets for its customers. With their new program, Hopper Trees, Hopper will donate the funds to plant four trees per flight booked, and two trees per hotel room booked.
The company projects that they will plant 20 million new trees in 2020 with help from Eden Reforestation Projects – a company that reduces poverty around the globe by employing villagers to plant millions of trees per year. Considering that a fully mature tree can consume up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, Hopper Trees could reduce 960 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year once the trees fully mature.
Delta has been committed to making air travel more sustainable for years. Their first big effort started when they became the first and only airline to cap greenhouse gas emissions at 2012 levels. In 2019, Delta introduced 84 new aircrafts, all which are 25% more fuel-efficient than their predecessors.
CEO Ed Bastian talked about the importance of sustainable travel, “There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment.”
Over the next ten years, Delta will be committing $1 billion to promote cleaner and more sustainable air travel by looking towards advanced clean air travel technology, to reduce carbon emissions, and to fund projects that’ll look to mitigate emissions.
As the popularity of cruising continues to rise, so does the importance of making cruise ships more eco-friendly. One company set to lead the way in becoming more environmentally friendly is Carnival Corporation (the largest cruise company). They’ve established 10 goals for reducing their environmental footprint through 2020. Some of the goals include:
Installing exhaust gas cleaning systems.
Carnival has made a $400 million investment in having exhaust gas cleaning systems that will help in reducing sulfur compounds and pollution from the engine exhaust of their ships.
Reducing the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions from operations.
Carnival renewed its goal for the upcoming year to try and further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and cut down their carbon footprint.
Increasing water use efficiency.
Considering that cruise lines make their money by having their customers vacation on water, it’s very important that they keep an eye on water use efficiency. Carnival Corporation makes sure its guests understand the amount of water they are using and try to encourage them to do partake in habits such as reusing towels and reducing water waste.
You can read the full list of goals with detailed explanations here.
How You Can Make an Impact
Each and every one of us can make choices while traveling that’ll help to better our environment. Making small changes such as using a reusable water bottle, reusing your shower towel, and taking part in a carbon offset program makes a huge impact. If we all work together, we can make traveling an amazing experience for all, without ruining our earth.