Is there such a thing as a guilt-free trip? The climate crisis has reached a critical point. We all know we must act and change our habits radically and quickly. A lot of us are now taking care to recycle everything, reducing or stopping buying single-use things, eating a lot less meat, commute by public transport or bike or switching to electric cars. If you need any convincing that humans are ruining the Earth’s climate by pumping out massive amounts of Co2, just visit Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon which is nothing less than ground zero for global climate disaster.
Travel is a big culprit for Co2 emissions
Travel accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions. The largest part of that comes from air travel and other forms of transport. So we all must do a lot better. It is time to demand more environmentally friendly Iceland tours. At the very least you should make your Iceland trip carbon neutral.
How to minimize your environmental impact when traveling to Iceland?
There are also many ways to minimize your environmental impact when you are in Iceland. For example, there is absolutely no need to buy water in plastic bottles. The water in the tap is incredibly good. Do not drive off-road, take care not to damage sensitive plants such as moss. Try to find tours with tour companies that have an ambitious environmental policy.
Ask for more environmentally friendly Iceland tours
I am a big believer in environmental activism. We should pressure companies to redesign their products and operations to minimize carbon emissions. So ask companies about what steps they are taking to minimize their environmental impact before you book a flight or a tour and reward them with your business.
Are you running environmentally responsible tours in Iceland? – let us know!
If you run a tour company here in Iceland that is committed to reducing your environmental impact significantly, we would love to hear from you. Head over to our Facebook page and send us a message and we would be keen to feature you in the magazine. One company that is doing a lot to minimize its environmental impact is Elding which provides whale watching tours.
The need to make your Iceland trip carbon neutral
Let’s face it. Most cars and airplanes still use polluting fossil fuels. While I am hopeful that cars will predominantly be powered by electricity in the next decade, the best thing we can do now is to make driving and jet travel carbon neutral by such methods as tree planting or by reclaiming wetlands. There are two main funds in Iceland that enable people to offset their carbon emissions from driving and flying. Unfortunately, neither fund has a user-friendly experience for international travelers who want to take a flight to Iceland and their road trip carbon neutral, but perhaps you can find something similar in your own country.
Use the UN Carbon Offset Platform to offset your Iceland trip
Icelandic funds which help you to make your Iceland trip carbon neutral
One of the Icelandic funds is called Kolvidur and it offsets carbon for its clients by planting trees in its forests here in Iceland. It does have a rudimentary carbon calculator in English so you could use this offset both your flying and driving. The other fund is the Icelandic Wetlands Fund. It offsets carbon by wetlands reclamation. Unfortunately, they do not have any content or calculator in English. I have asked them to fix this and I will update this page if and when that is done.
There are no excuses for not carbon offsetting your Iceland trip!
The cost of carbon offsetting is low. If you can afford to travel to Iceland at all, you can afford to offset the carbon emissions involved. So there are no excuses really. After all, there is only one Earth, there is no planet B.