You don’t have to pitch a tent in the woods for your vacation to be environmentally friendly – though of course that’s fun too! Using your smartphone, you can take your everyday green habits with you on the road.
Luckily, when you’re traveling, what’s good for your wallet and good for the environment are often one and the same.
If you’re trying to get friends and family to join you in sustainable living, this might be a good place to start!
Google Maps is an obvious choice whether you’re traveling around the world or around the corner. However, you may not have thought about how much it can reduce your carbon footprint.
Not only can you plan the quickest routes to get to your destination, but once you’re there, you don’t have to waste gas hoping to stumble across a grocery store.
You can also take advantage of the walking and public transportation options, and see if there’s a way to get to your destination without taking your car at all.
Once you’ve minimized the amount of fuel it takes you to get to the places you want to go, you need to think about how much power you’re using now that you’re there. We all know how to turn off lights and shave some minutes off our showers, but if you have to plug in your smartphone every few hours, you need to think about how much energy you’re wasting.
Battery savers will also benefit the more spontaneous among us, who don’t know when and where they’re going to crash and finally plug their phone in for charging. Battery Doctor is free for both Android and iOS, and comes highly rated by its users.
Many of us choose to go vegetarian or vegan because of the impact that raising animals for food has on the environment, and the animal rights issues inherent in the business practices of those who mass produce meat.
However, being vegetarian/vegan can be a challenge if you’re rolling down the highway and your only lunch option is a McDonald’s. Luckily, it’s easy to use your phone to find vegetarian/vegan-friendly options for dining out or grocery shopping when you’re in an unfamiliar area.
HappyCow makes two apps, one for Android and one for iOS, that will help you find exactly what you want. The iOS version, Veg Travel Guide for Vegan & Vegetarians has a map that you can filter by your dietary needs and will help you get to your chosen destination with directions and phone numbers. Android’s Happy Cow Healthy Eating Guide has a more in-depth search filter for vegan/vegetarian food in more than 160 countries. Both give you the option of uploading pictures of your meal to share with others.
E-Bookers helps you book flights, car rentals, hotels, and cruises all in one place, and shop for the best deals. The sales that E-Bookers helps you find include not only the basics, but all the ingredients that make up a successful vacation: prepaid credit cards, toiletries and cosmetics for traveling, cameras, luggage, fashion that fits your destination, airport parking, and overseas calling minutes. It also helps you out with a currency converter, since the site uses pounds.
Of course, it’s convenient to be able to book travel and lodgings from your phone, but the green reason to use the E-Bookers app (and others like it) when you’re traveling green is e-ticket technology.
E-tickets are both environmentally friendly and convenient, since you probably won’t have access to a printer on-the-go. Just pull up your e-ticket on your smartphone, and you’re good to go!
ExpressVPN is a “must have” for every traveler, especially if you are using e-tickets. When you’re at the airport and touring on your travels, you’re going to come across a lot of unsecured Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously dangerous, especially when you’re sending sensitive information such as credit card numbers, because they can be hacked by cybercriminals looking to steal your identity.
Don’t take chances with your security, especially since an emptied bank account could leave you stranded! Use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection via an offsite secure server that will handle your requests for you. The encryption on the connection is an amazing defense because it creates a tunnel that no hackers can get into, and ExpressVPN is one of the best and most trusted VPN apps available.
MyEarth, which is available for Apple and Android, is an app specifically designed to track your carbon footprint and develop sustainable habits, encouraging users to level up and go as green as possible. It really brings home for users why we’re doing this in the first place, since it features a cute cartoon polar bear on a shrinking ice floe!
What apps do you find indispensable when you’re traveling? How do you remember to live sustainably when life gets busy? Please, let us know in the comments!
Isa.C, the author of this article, is a tech junkie and blogger
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