How to travel sustainably with Kiwi.com

Travel hacks

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There are ways to see the world while making environmentally friendly choices

The last year and a half have been a reality check for many of us when it comes to traveling. Not only have we had to rethink where we visit but also how we visit and why

Sustainable travel is a responsible, mindful way of seeing the world while making our footprint as little as possible. Luckily, Kiwi.com has options for eco-friendly travelers so let’s explore them together.

Travel by bus and train

A train is more environmentally friendly than a planeA train is more environmentally friendly than a plane — Shutterstock

Some places would be near impossible or take a very long time for us to travel to without the use of an airplane. On the other hand, if you’re planning a short hop — let’s say between London and Amsterdam — a train or bus might be a better option when it comes to the environment. Short-haul flights are one of the biggest pollutants and planes generally release carbon emissions directly into the upper atmosphere.

Kiwi.com offers tickets on trains that run on renewable sources of energyKiwi.com offers tickets on trains that run on renewable sources of energy — Kiwi.com

Kiwi.com offers more transport variety, meaning that besides flights, travelers can choose from a large network of buses and trains and even rent a car. We also support trains that run entirely on renewable energy — public trains in the Netherlands are powered solely by wind-sourced energy. On Kiwi.com, you can choose the transport option that best suits your needs.

Book direct flights

Planes consume the highest amounts of fuel during takeoff and landingPlanes consume the highest amounts of fuel during takeoff and landing — Kiwi.com

While whizzing through the air is unavoidable at times, there are ways to mitigate the carbon footprint your journey will make. A plane consumes the highest amounts of fuel during takeoff and landing, that’s why it might be better to opt for a direct (nonstop) flight with no layovers, meaning you’ll only be going up and down once.

On Kiwi.com, there is a filter that allows you to select the number of stops you want to take on your journey, including an overnight layover if you need more time at a certain place.

Visit a sustainable destination

Canberra and Brisbane are among the greenest cities in the worldCanberra and Brisbane are among the greenest cities in the world — Shutterstock

Making eco-friendly choices in travel extends to picking the right destination, too. Some places, for example, have more greenery, higher air quality, or use transportation powered by renewable energy. Why not support a destination that cares for the planet?

A recent study analyzed the sustainability of different cities around the world. They received an index score based on a number of factors — energy, transportation infrastructure, affordability, pollution, air quality, CO2 emissions, and percentage of green spaces. Canberra topped the list, followed by Madrid in second place and Brisbane in third. 

Choose your carrier

With Kiwi.com you can choose the carrier you want to travel withWith Kiwi.com you can choose the carrier you want to travel with — Shutterstock

Pandemic aside, aviation accounts for up to five percent of global emissions while only five percent of the world flies. And the numbers are rising. The good news is that as the industry grows, travel technology is becoming better, safer, and more fuel-efficient.

Compared to Airbus aircraft from the 1970s, planes built today emit 80 percent fewer emissions. It doesn’t stop at age. There are other ways airlines reduce the impact they’re making on the environment, such as Austrian Airlines using one engine for taxiing or KLM optimizing flight routes.  

With Kiwi.com you can choose which carrier you want to travel with while booking a trip. Select or deselect those carriers you have a preference for or search directly by name to see available travel options.

Mind your seat

Economy is greener than first-classEconomy is greener than first-class — Shutterstock

While you might want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury, economy class is not only cheaper than business or first class, it’s also better for the planet. Typically, business or first-class seats are heavier and take up three to four times more space than a seat in the economy class.

On Kiwi.com you can choose what class you want to fly and, if there are multiple legs to your journey, you can apply our mixed classes filter. For example, on your short-haul flight, you’ll sit in the economy while for your connecting flight you can opt for another class to fit your preferences.

Make changes to what you pack

Travel lightly by packing multi-purpose clothes and shoesTravel lightly by packing multi-purpose clothes and shoes — Shutterstock

First of all, don’t pack too much because the heavier your luggage, the more fuel your plane needs to make the journey. Start with getting rid of paper and instead downloading all travel documents onto your phone (use the Kiwi.com app to have them all in one place).

Pack multi-purpose clothes and shoes you’ll actually use. Instead of plastic bottles (for water and shampoo), bring a reusable water bottle and a shampoo bar. Say no to airplane headphones and next time use the airplane headphone adapter to plug in your own headphones to reduce the use of plastic. 

Once you’re at your hotel, do you really need room cleaning, like vacuuming, every day? Hang up your towel as a sign that you don’t need to have it washed. These small changes and hacks all help to reduce the carbon footprint of global and local communities.

Offset your carbon footprint

Strive for carbon neutrality in travelStrive for carbon neutrality in travel — Shutterstock

Regardless of the travel choices we make, we can contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint we leave behind. Essentially, it means paying money to projects that help to protect the environment. There are handy calculators online to find out how much “extra” a flight from A to B should cost you in terms of offsetting your carbon.

More than 30 IATA member airlines have introduced a carbon offset program with standardized guidelines. The current aim is to reach  50 percent carbon neutrality by 2050 — VistaJet airline has recently committed to  100 percent carbon neutrality by 2025.

Or keep your carbon footprint close to zero by checking out some of our other articles on Kiwi.com Stories.