How to Make That Next Trip a Bit Easier on the Planet

Some of us are lucky enough to live a train ride away from family. Others might have to catch a flight to see la familia, or maybe to get away from them. But whatever your reason for traveling, the truth is, it isn’t easy on the planet. That’s why we put together some tips to make your next trip a little greener.


By now you’ve probably heard that air travel is terrible for the environment. But cars emit carbon, too. As it turns out, most holiday travel in the U.S.—amounting to about 97.4 million people—happens in the car.

Is that a bad thing? It depends. For short trips, a car, train, or public transit is definitely the way to go. (And short trips are pretty much always better for the planet, no matter what.) But unless your car gets 44.7 miles to the gallon or more, flying is actually the better option when traveling medium to long distances.

Once you get to your destination, what you do next is important, too. Like what hotel you choose. Try to be conscious of where you spend your money (and lay your head). Some hotels are more environmentally friendly and prioritize recycling. Reuse your towel, and chill out with the long showers, man. Be your best self when adventuring for the holidays.

With the holiday season here, no one’s judging you for hopping in your car for a road trip or booking a sick ass hotel suite—except, well, maybe Santa. But you should at least be wary of what it’s doing to the planet. Watch the video above to learn more.

Yessenia Funes is climate editor at Atmos Magazine. She loves Earther forever.



Biologist here. I am deeply grateful for these posts. Reusing your towel will not put a single dent in the extreme crisis facing the planet and life upon it. Look up shade-grown coffee. Look up agroforestry. Find as many Indidgenous people as you can in your trip, and beg them for advice on how to help their local ecosystem. Give them money for their troubles. Bring your message back home and spread the word. Avoid zoos, aquariums and any pet stores that sell animals. Make one change per month and learn about public transport in your town. ❤️🌸