Skip to content


Travelling is an important opportunity to discover new strengths and abilities, take on new challenges, and solve problems with a globally minded lens. However, it is important to be aware of the unsustainable impact travelling can have on the environment and cultures you are visiting. Check out the resources below to find more ways to think sustainable while you go global.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

“Sustainable tourism” isn’t just about the environment, it also encompasses having a positive impact on the culture and economies you are visiting. Source. Sustainable tourism focuses on interacting authentically with local culture and prioritizing local traditions, natural resources, and residents.

Sustainable travel can be defined in a variety of different ways:

  • Travelling efficiently and minimizing the degree of carbon emissions emitted
  • Doing the least amount of harm to the environment while travelling
  • Supporting local culture and communities through donations and spending via smaller, local businesses.

stairs on the mountain

How Can You Make a Difference?

What can we do to reduce our carbon footprint and travel more sustainably?

paper and pencil icon

Plan Ahead

  • The biggest environmental impact from planes is takeoff and landing. Try booking direct, nonstop flights to reduce emissions from frequently taking off and landing. You can also look into which airlines are taking steps to reduce their emissions.
  • Consider: what are the environmental impacts of my travel? Do your research on environmentally friendly destinations, accommodation and activities. Are you staying in a large hotel that requires a lot of energy and resources? Or a bed and breakfast owned by locals?
  • Consider more sustainable travel options, such as taking a train, bus or carpooling to your destination. Remember that a flight from New York to California can generate 20% of the CO2 that your car emits in an entire year. Read the source article.

plane icon

Throughout Your Trip

  • While out and about, bring your own reusable water bottle and/or coffee tumbler. Also bring your own reusable cutlery and snacks from home in reusable containers. Avoid littering and leave the area how you found it.
  • Look out for ways to support the local economy. Shop and eat local. Stay in locally owned hostels or hotels and avoid big hotel chains that are typically owned from abroad. Take a “free” walking tour where you tip your local guide!
  • Consider staying in one area for a longer period of time. This cuts down on extra travelling that can be more wasteful and allow you to get to know the local culture better. One way of doing this is through a Semester Abroad!

House icon

Returning Home

Reflect on your travel experience and what you learned from the new place you went to, the people you met, and the lessons you learned while abroad. Reflect on your role as a Global Citizen in Humber’s free Certificate.

connecting location pin icon

Alternatives to Frequent Travel

Only travel when necessary. Instead, you can utilize online networking, teleconferences and online learning opportunities. Utilize the great virtual opportunities here at Humber!

Explore Sustainably with Humber

Spend a longer period in one place to avoid over polluting with lots of extra travel. Get to know the local area well and have more opportunities to travel on foot and on bike while making sustainable choices. Improve your intercultural competency skills and have international experiences while staying at home. You can expand your personal and professional network among a global community of students, Humber faculty and industry experts.

Additional Resources on Sustainable Travel

United Nations SDG Goals

How to Travel More Sustainably - Conde Nast Traveller

Voluntourism: The Good and The Bad, World Vision

Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait by Chris Jordan