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What is Carbon Offset? Learn and Tackle Climate Change While Traveling!

Did you know that when you’re traveling abroad, domestically, or even just commuting to the office, you are actually producing something that is called carbon footprint. Simply put, carbon footprint is greenhouse gas emitted from our daily activities which include carbon dioxide and other pollutants. The more travel carbon footprint produced by people, the more they influence the decrease in air quality and extreme climate conditions.

Luckily, you have the chance to turn your carbon footprint around and be a responsible traveler through carbon offset. What is carbon offset? It’s a way to compensate for your emissions by contributing to the reduction of emissions or an increase in carbon storage through land restoration, planting of trees, and many other efforts. Through carbon offsetting, you will not only relieve yourself from guilt, but also actively participate in making this world a better place for future generations. Here are some ways to help reduce carbon footprint before you start counting your carbon offsets to support the global efforts in tackling climate change!

 

1. Pack less, rent more 

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Bring less baggage when you’re flying because the heavier the plane, the higher the fuel consumption and the bigger the carbon footprint. If you’re planning to have an adventurous holiday that requires surfboard, ski, or camping equipment, try to rent them locally instead. You will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but you’ll also enjoy the convenience of a lightweight traveling experience.

 

2. Be considerate in using electricity and water 

turning-off

Sometimes we tend to forget that the electricity and water we spend in the hotel during our holidays also create emissions. As a result, we carelessly leave the lights, electronic appliances, and running heating and cooling systems switched on 24 hours a day. There is no better way to limit your greenhouse gas emissions in your accommodations than acting like you’re the one paying the bills. Avoid wasting power and water when you don’t need them. Keep showers to a normal length, turn off lights and appliances when you’re going out, and only use the air conditioning system when you’re actually in the room.

 

3. Use the “Do Not Disturb” Sign 

do-no-disturb

Fun fact: many hotels will thoroughly clean and refresh your room as a matter of daily routine. It is indeed a nice thing to have, but unfortunately, the frequent use of washing machines, dryers, and vacuum cleaners adds significant carbon emissions. Therefore, you can hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door so the cleaners don’t have to come by every day and send everything off to the laundry room. If you happen to require some cleaning services for emergency purposes, you can always take the sign down or make a quick call to the receptionist.

 

4. Bring reusable items on your travel 

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During our travels, we often buy disposable items such as plastic water bottles, shopping bags, coffee cups, and food containers and then throw them away without any second thought. Most of those items require a significant amount of energy to get recycled. Furthermore, their disposal also adds to landfill and ocean pollution. Therefore, we recommend you to pack some reusable items for your trip, such as: 

  1. refillable water bottles
  2. reusable coffee cups
  3. reusable food containers
  4. reusable shopping bags
  5. reusable straws

We guarantee you’ll be amazed at how much waste you can eliminate simply by refilling and reusing. Hopefully, this will also influence your daily “reusable mindset” after you get back home from your trip.

 

5. Walk, bike, and take public transportations 

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When exploring a new city or country, it might be more tempting to rent private transportation or rely on carbon-intensive taxis and ride-hailing services so you can roam freely to many different places. However, it will definitely create a large impact on the carbon footprint of your trip. Therefore, try to explore your new surroundings by simply strolling around on foot, riding a bicycle, or–if any–renting an e-scooter provided in the destination. Should you need to cover greater distances or want to travel more quickly, you can use public transportations as much as you can – particularly low-emission ones like trains and buses.

 

6. Savor local cuisines 

dining

Your food choices can make a large impact on the environment, both in terms of ingredients and how far it travels to reach your plate. Therefore, try to eat as much local food as you can. Consuming foods from local restaurants or small hawkers is an effective way to reduce the shipping and transport emissions of your meals. You can also support the local community and be a part of a sustainable tourism program. Another fun fact: researchers have found that plant-based cuisine has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than those high in meat. Fortunately, in Indonesia, there are many vegan and vegetarian dishes that you can explore. Who knows, maybe you’ll also discover your new favorite food!

 

7. Choosing sustainable destinations

There are many destinations in Indonesia that are perfect to start your sustainable tourism experience. The easiest way to find them is by visiting tourist villages, which enables you to not only mingle with locals and enjoy the recreational activities, but also to support their creative economy productions and sustainability. Penglipuran Tourism Village in Bali and Sade Tourism Village in Lombok would be perfect for those who are new to sustainable tourism. You can also visit some wildlife preservation areas like West Bali National Park in Bali, Baluran National Park in East Java, or Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan for a real-time wilderness experience that is not only challenging but also sustainable as well.

 

If you have prepared the above steps in managing your carbon footprint, the next thing to do is to redeem your emissions through carbon offsets. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is collaborating with Jejak.In to make the Indonesia Travel Carbon Calculator, which enables you to absorb your carbon footprint by planting trees in an easy, transparent, and sustainable way. Simply by visiting this link, you can calculate your carbon footprint on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and donate trees to absorb your carbon footprint.

 

If you’re planning to visit Indonesia, kindly remember to comply with all the health protocols, be a responsible traveler, and keep practicing healthy habits such as wearing a mask in public places, washing hands frequently, and implementing social distancing. Learn about the latest international travel regulations and follow our social media channels on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok for updated information regarding travel and creative economy in Indonesia.