• Tabitha McKinney

Sustainable Travel Is the New First Class

It’s 2020, and while we still don’t have flying cars, or jetpacks, the way we travel and move around the globe is clearly changing. We can no longer afford to mindlessly wander to faraway lands without considering how the way we travel impacts the people and places we encounter along our way. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), it’s estimated that in the past 5 years airline greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 32%. The same study found that in 2018 airline passenger transport generated 81% of the CO2 emissions produced by the commercial flight industry (freight carriage responsible for the remaining 19%).

So what does this mean for those of us who find ourselves boarding planes for work, pleasure, or both? At UpJaunt, we care about sustainability across industries, realizing that long-term change requires innovation, creativity, and collaboration. One way we’re working to address climate change is by recommending itineraries, or jaunts, to travelers that are walkable, bikeable, and eco-friendly. We each have a carbon footprint, and every small change counts.

If you love to travel (like we do), and also love the planet, consider booking flights with airlines who offer carbon offset options, like Delta, United, and JetBlue. JetBlue partners with Carbonfund.org who actively works to fight climate change through education, outreach, and carbon offsetting. You can also visit destinations that are prioritizing sustainability efforts, like Lake Tahoe or Mount Hotham in Victoria, Australia. With the bushfires currently ravaging critical parts of the Australian landscape, we can support our Aussie friends by spending tourism dollars to help rebuild and protect the communities most affected.

Travel companies like El Camino Travel and Travara are cultivating a new breed of traveler. Both companies, or rather communities, offer thoughtfully curated options for conscious travelers looking to not only minimize their carbon footprint, but to also engage with local communities in meaningful ways. El Camino Travel partners with Women Who Travel (a community organization run by Condé Nast) to connect solo travelers with groups of fellow adventurers in search of authentic, unique experiences. What’s great about El Camino Travel is that when you book a trip through them, you can expect to engage — with the communities in which you’re staying — in a deeper way. And Travara is a brand all about good travel and global impact. The travel brand takes mindful travel to new heights with an eye toward sustainability and community building. With a mission to promote both the local and global benefits of ecotourism, Travara works to bring the best of travel to the world. In fact, Travara is a blend of two words: travel and vara — vara being the Sanskrit word meaning the best of something.

There are SO many ways to move around the globe responsibly while also having fun. For inspiration, download the UpJaunt app where you can check out our (responsible and fun) jaunts — or create your own!

Article originally published on Medium.


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