Over 80 percent of global travelers say that they want to travel sustainably, according to a Sustainable Travel Report released by Booking.com. While all Wayajers enjoy seeing new places, meeting new people, and sampling local foods, in a more sustainable way, it’s easy to feel guilty about the impact our travel has on the planet. But what about when you travel for work?
Business travel is considered a necessary evil, since attending work meetings, conferences or visiting clients helps build relationships and gets things done. However, in the age of climate change and carbon footprinting, sustainable travel is becoming an important part of corporate social responsibility policies in an increasing number of companies of all sizes.
From the point of view of the traveler, many things can fall by the wayside when traveling for work. Diets and fitness can be forgotten, and email has a way of getting out of control. And how about being green? Even simple things like recycling might not be available, no matter what company policies say …
When we’re out of our normal routine, it’s easy to forget about the smaller eco-friendly habits that make a big impact in the long run. Here are some easy eco-friendly habits for business travelers looking for ways reduce their impact on our overcrowded and beautiful world!
Before you decide that a business trip is absolutely necessary, check first to see if a teleconference might be an option work instead of a meeting in person. Sometimes the people you’re working with would be fine with a teleconference or videoconference. This not only saves you time and effort, it saves your company bucks while having less of an environmental impact.
If a business trip is a necessity, before you go, unplug your appliances at home. Even though you might not be using them, that Wi-Fi and microwave are generating small amounts of energy. Plus, this will save money on your electricity bill!
Take the train or bus
Maybe you’re not traveling that far and you can take a train or a bus. Average CO2 emissions for bus and trains per mile, per passenger are 0.17 lbs and 0.41 lbs, respectively, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Traveling by plane? 1.83 lbs!
When other forms of transportation aren’t an option, fly nonstop. This does more than just save time. You can reduce emissions by up to 50% with nonstop travel. Remember, if you don’t have to change planes but your plane stops at another airport, that’s not technically a direct, non-stop flight. Non-stop flights are exponentially better for the environment and it’s not just because you’re traveling fewer miles. As much as 50% of carbon emissions come from takeoff and landing!
Schedule trips back to back
If you have several different cities to travel to, schedule the trips back to back. Okay, this can be tiring. We know! But you will save AND resources by not flying home in between.
Environmentally Friendly Airports
Airports around the world create enormous carbon footprints due to carbon emissions, but they’re getting greener and greener and this article by Airport Technology lists some of them. Look for airports with ground-heating pumps, wind catchers, and water recycling facilities.
Take public transportation to get around
Once you’re at your destination, why not take public transportation to get around? In many cities taking the subway or metro can be faster than sitting in a cab while it inches through traffic. Or, if you don’t want to deal with taking public transportation, hire a hybrid or an electric car with a driver or a hybrid taxi or an eco cab, Lyft offers carbon neutral rides everywhere! And if you’re traveling with co-workers, schedule your comings and goings at the same time so that you can share taxi rides or rental cars.
If you’ve opted to rent a car, be sure to reserve a hybrid or an electric car.
Stay in a green hotel
Choose to stay in a place that has high environmental standards. Use Wayaj to find the right property with sustainable options! Many of our hotels feature also business facilities such as conferences spaces, meeting rooms, business centers. Green hotels are a great choice for business travel, also because guests’ wellness is weaved into sustainability policies, and we all know when we feel better, we work better!
While staying in a hotel, reduce water waste by reusing your hotel towels and bed sheets. Most hotels now have in-room instructions for what to do if you’d like to be green.
Also, be sure to reduce the air conditioning or heat, and turn off the lights when you’re not in the room. Try not to use laundry services in the hotel unless you have a full load to wash. Hotels wash an individual’s clothes separately so if the washing machine isn’t full, you’ll be wasting water and electricity.
Wayaj for business travel
Not only Wayaj offers numerous great hotels for business travelers, but we have recently introduced some new features designed just for corporate travel.
1. Business or personal trip
Wayaj 2.0 has introduced a tab to classify your trips business or personal, this way it will be easier for you to distinguish them in your trip planner
2. Expense Manager
One of the most annoying parts of traveling for business is keeping track of the expenses, receipts, reports, refunds … for this reason Wayaj 2.1 has introduced the Expense Manager. This nifty feature let you scan, categorize, save and email a report of all your travel expenses (total or by trip) in a few clicks!
Travel with reusables
Bring your water bottle and a reusable straw with you. You might even want to bring along your travel coffee container to save on disposable cups.
No matter which of these tips you’re able to utilize, doing what you can to be make your business trip as eco-friendly as possible is a good thing… For you, your loved ones, and for the whole world!
And don’t forget to download Wayaj and keep it up to date because we have more eco-friendly features for business travelers coming soon!
Cover image credit: Nick Harris via Flickr