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Impact of Travel on the Environment

Hello travellers! So, if you are anything like me, you are counting down the days until your next trip. While travelling feels rejuvenating, our travelling does not have the same impact on our beautiful Earth. Travel has led to a lot of carbon emissions and other adverse effects on the environment.

The impacts are so grave that many places like Iceland and Thailand have shut down a few sites to maintain their natural balance. If we want to revisit the same places with our children or grandchildren, sustainable travel is the only way forward.

What is the Impact of Travel on our Environment?

In 2019, there were almost 1.5 billion tourists. But the alarming fact is more than 500m, or 33%, of these trips were made to a group of 300 most popular cities, like New York, Orlando, Paris, Shanghai, etc.

Overtourism is detrimental to the environment of these cities. How? Because tourists increase the use of water, leave behind plastic waste, and increase air pollution. Let’s talk about how travel leads to a higher carbon footprint.

#1: The Alarming Stats Of Aviation Industry

Do you know that 2% of the world’s total carbon emission is attributed to global air travel? A single flight from Toronto to Vancouver releases 1.294 tonnes of greenhouse gases like CO2.

More worrying, international aviation has increased by 83% since 1990, says David Suzuki Foundation. Since most of us now prefer flying instead of trains and buses, the aviation industry has seen an exponential rise, and so has the air pollution.

But there are ways we can do our little bit! 25% of all fuel required for a flight’s journey is used during taking off and landing. This step can be our small contribution to sustainable travel.

#2: The Easy Math Of Plastic Bottle Stats

Marriott International recently said that a simple move of replacing individual bottles of soap, shampoo, and conditioner with bulk dispensers could help them save a staggering 23,000 bottles every year! This is only for a single 104 room hotel so imagine how much plastic waste can be saved by replacing individual bottles in all the hotels.

#3: Cruise Ship Fuel Consumption

Cruises are luxe and have a vast following. However, a mid-size cruise of about 2,800 passengers consumes 150 tonnes of fuel every day!

According to a German environmental association, this massive fuel consumption is equivalent to 1 million cars.

Let’s further understand the carbon emissions of other modes of transport:

 Clearly, flights have the most significant carbon footprint, so try to use more trains and buses whenever possible.

#4: What about the Future?

The projections are not encouraging. It is predicted that 40% of the world’s carbon emissions will be generated by tourism in 2050.

The situation is alarming, and to save our environement, sustainable travel seems like the only way out.

In A Nutshell…

As the saying goes, we have not inherited earth from our ancestors but borrowed it from our children. No proverb explains the situation more clearly.

We have already seen global warming, extinction of flora and fauna species, and shrinking rainforests. Tourism has played its role in the process of degradation. If we do not switch to sustainable travel methods now, we may see more severe environmental issues and end up harming our beautiful earth beyond repair.

It is time we shift to sustainable tourism as that it is our only hope. Steps like reducing your flying, offsetting your carbon emissions, sustainable travel kits, and ecotourism have to now become the new normal of travelling.

What do you think?


About Keepsie Kits

Keepsie Kits curates sustainable travel kits that are super lightweight, making being eco-friendly on adventures possible. Our mission is to inspire sustainable travel which includes providing education and tips. We are a planet-first company, including (i) donating 5% of proceeds to environmental initiatives, (ii) offsetting carbon emissions from shipping our products, and (iii) going package-free. Check us out at

The impact of travel on the environment

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