In the era of Greta Thunberg and the “green wave” that’s sweeping our depleted planet, many of us have been wondering what we can do to be more mindful and conscious of our choices as a consumer. When we consider travelling again, we must ask ourselves how we can continue exploring the world – to keep broadening our hearts and minds, and promoting cross-cultural understanding – without hurting it. Would Greta Thunberg trade her sailing boat for these superyachts? If you’re confused about where to start, we’ve compiled this list of five actions you can take to be a more conscious and sustainable traveller. Whether you take one, three, or all five on-board for your next journey, we’re certain they will make your next trip better, for you and the earth. These tried-and-true principles are guaranteed to reduce your environmental impact and make you a more mindful traveller. 1. Travel smarter According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “Airplanes could generate 43 gigatonnes of planet-warming pollution through 2050, consuming almost five per cent of the world’s remaining carbon budget.” Buying carbon offsets from companies like mossyearth.com or climatecare.org can help, as can booking the most direct route, since taking off and landing burns more fuel than cruising. Flying economy is more eco-friendly than business and first-class, since economy seats take up less space, as is choosing airlines that use biofuels or newer, more fuel-efficient planes. Why agritourism will be the post-coronavirus luxury travel trend Or, where possible, opt to take the train. Sure, trains usually take longer than planes, but they also use up to 50 per cent less fuel, plus their emissions aren’t released directly into the upper atmosphere. There’s an undeniable romance to rail travel, it allows you to experience a deeper sense of place by immersing you in the landscape, plus it gives you the chance to walk around and get to know fellow passengers. 2. Go plastic-free In the last 10 years, we’ve made more plastic than in the whole century before that, and almost every piece of plastic ever made is still with us. You can do your bit and reduce the number of disposable plastics you consume while on the road by packing things like a reusable water bottle (like LARQ), a metal container for takeaway food, and a reusable cotton tote bag for shopping. Plastic is passé – luxury reusable water bottles are so 2020 3. Eat plant-based food Beyond eating a plant-based diet, cultivating your own garden and purchasing local produce can make a huge difference to the environment. Supporting locally-grown produce and reducing food waste can massively lower carbon emissions, according to Project Drawdown, a comprehensive guide to reversing climate change. From vegetables that are deemed “too ugly” to be sent to stores, to an overabundance of produce that doesn’t sell, finding ways to grow your food locally and utilise what you produce are steps in the right direction. 4. Turn off the air conditioning Tropical destinations are a popular choice for travellers, with ample sunshine and azure ocean water. The problem with these places is that their gorgeous surroundings come with a major drawback: high temperatures. The truth is that air conditioning (referred to by Project Drawdown as “refrigerant management”) is a massive contributor to greenhouse gases – and reducing the use of air conditioning chemicals in favour of natural cooling methods is the number one ranked solution to reducing carbon emissions. You can reduce your impact by turning off the air conditioning in your room – many hotels are already working to solve this problem. Playa Viva and Olas Tulum, both in Mexico, don’t have air conditioning but instead create a natural flow of air, using the Venturi effect to efficiently cool rooms. Can a virtual holiday cure your cabin fever? 5. Stay at a regenerative resort Start your sustainable travel journey by choosing truly green and “regenerative” accommodation. Do your research to find the right eco-friendly option that minimises negative impacts on the local ecosystems, while contributing to the local community. Opt to stay at a Regenerative Resort, where each hotel is selected to join the collection based on their dedication to environmental and social impacts. This article originally appeared on Regenerative Travel . Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .