Discovering the world, sharing adventures with friends and gaining inspiration for the future – travelling is great fun, opens new horizons and is very important, especially for young people. But travelling is also a major source of CO2 emissions.
So how can you make your trip sustainable – in a way that aligns with your interests, offers cultural exchange, educational experiences and minimises environmental damage? We have some helpful tips and information for you.
4 principles for sustainable travel
1. Define your expectations
Before you plunge into internet searches, take a moment to think about what you expect to get from your trip. A local adventure or exotic culture? An action-filled programme or fun and relaxation? Once you have defined your expectations, you are in a better position to decide where you want to go. Generally speaking: If you stay close to your starting point, the journey is shorter and the impact on the climate is lower. If your journey takes you to distant countries, your trip has more impact on the climate, but some cultures can only be experienced far from home.
2. Calculate the CO2 emissions
Do you know how much CO2 the different forms of transport emit? Choose your means of transport carefully and use our travel calculator app to find out how, buses, planes, ships and other means of transport affect the climate.
3. Stay as long as you can
If you want to experience foreign cultures that can only be reached by plane, you can offset your CO2 emissions by staying there as long as possible. This also gives you the opportunity of immersing yourself further in the local culture. Why not combine work and travel or work for a regional relief agency and use the time to gain important professional experience?
4. Mix with the locals
If you want to experience a country and its culture, the best thing to do is to embrace the life of the locals. Surf the internet to find the perfect city guide, use public transport, go to the market or visit the charming restaurant where the grandma still cooks herself. In this way you support the local community and at the same time fill your backpack with valuable and unique experiences
Shape Your Trip
The myclimate foundation’s educational project “Shape Your Trip” shows young people how responsible travel works. Interesting and informative information provides the know-how needed for putting sustainable travel plans together. The best ideas have a good chance of winning the big travel competition!
The best holiday trips or class camps can win a financial boost for their travel funds and other attractive prizes. We will publish news about the best trips so that other young people and adults will be inspired to go on their own sustainable adventures. The project is supported by Swiss Youth Hostels and EnergieSchweiz and was developed jointly with Swiss Federal Railways. Additional partners for sustainable tourism such as FAIRTIQ are supporting the project by sponsoring prizes. More information is available at www.myclimate.org/shapeyourtrip
Our sustainability strategy
The Swiss Youth Hostels are committed to sustainability. Sustainability is an integral part of our organisation philosophy when dealing with stakeholder groups, designing our products and ensuring environmental protection. We believe that sustainability means taking into account not only social and ethical issues, but also the sensible use of resources.
About the author
Franziska manages the Shape Your Trip education project of the myclimate foundation. myclimate sees itself as a partner for effective climate protection – globally and locally. Together with partners from the business sector and private individuals, myclimate aims to shape the future of the world through advisory and educational services as well as its own projects.