It no secret that when you break up with someone, a change of scenery can help mend your wounded heart. The fresh air and new sights and sounds that dont remind you of your ex are hugely healing. That said, all travel creates an environmental impact. So how can you tread more gently during your trek? Your heart may be heavy, but your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be! Before you set off, do a bit of homework to ensure you’ve done all you can to make your journey more sustainable. Here are eight eco-friendly tips to get you going.
1. Choose the Right Ride
You could rent an RV for your travels, but this option will produce considerable carbon emissions. If you can go smaller and more sustainable, please do so. One option to consider might be an electric vehicle. You might wonder if this will limit your ability to roam. Fear not! Some newer models, can go up to 300 miles on a single charge. Plus, many hotels in locations that cater to eco-friendly travel have ample charging stations — you’ll find them lining the parking lots of lodging houses in spiritual meccas like Sedona, Arizona.
2. Fly Direct
Even though most fuel consumption occurs in the air, takeoff and landing alone suck up 15% of the total jet juice necessary for flight. If you want to decrease your emissions footprint, book a direct flight whenever possible. While you may never know the difference it makes, packing lightly also helps decrease emissions. The more weight a plane carries, the more fuel it requires to stay aloft.
3. Select an Eco-Friendly Hotel
Your choice of lodging also influences the eco-friendliness of your post-breakup travel. Do you love to collect those tiny bottles of shampoo and conditioner? They create tons of plastic waste — seek establishments that use multiuse dispensers in guest rooms instead. Your facility should also feature low-flow plumbing appliances to decrease waste. What other features should you consider? Ask if your hotel uses LED lighting to increase energy efficiency and has Energy Star-rated televisions and air conditioners in every room. See if the building is LEED-certified or has on-site solar or wind turbines to provide renewable power.
4. Consider Camping or Glamping
If you think camping has to mean lying in an uncomfortable tent on the cold ground, think again. Of course, if you enjoy roughing it, there’s nothing like an extended backpacking excursion to clear your mind after a difficult breakup. However, you have options that feature more modern conveniences while keeping you close to the great outdoors. Some glamping resorts blend escapism with luxury by providing comfortable yurts but no Wi-Fi access — you’ll have to wait to upload your photos until you return home. Others feature quirky stays, such as sleeping in a treehouse.
5. Set up a Vehicle Recycling Station
Think about the last road trip you took. You probably stopped at countless convenience stores along the way — how many of them had recycling bins out front? Depending on where you live, the answer is probably “not many.” Set up a recycling station in your car if you plan to drive on your post-breakup trip. You can find bins online or create them out of repurposed buckets and bags you already have.
6. Pack Reusable Bags
One of the most entertaining parts of travel is selecting the perfect souvenirs to memorialize your journey. However, many local shops still use plastic bags — not every jurisdiction has banned their use. Therefore, take plenty of reusable bags with you. You’ll discover they come in handy for many uses, like keeping your damp swimsuit separate from your dry clothes after you enjoy a dip in the hotel pool before departing for your next destination.
7. Dine Like a Local
When trucks have to ship produce across long distances, it produces considerable carbon emissions. Before you depart, investigate the best locally sourced and farm-to-table restaurants in your destination online and make reservations. You get a nutrition boost for your eco-consciousness. Fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutrients just three days after harvest, meaning those sourced locally retain more of the good stuff before they get to your plate.
8. Leave a Sustainable Legacy
One way to heal your wounded heart is to perform an act of kindness. By leaving a sustainable legacy for future generations, you show you are still a whole, giving person, even after your heartbreak. Consider giving ecotourism a try. You could climb glaciers in Chile or meet gorillas in Rwanda while helping organizations devoted to preserving these natural resources.