Explore the world, sustainably

We travel to satisfy our curiosity. To discover something new and make connections. Our travel experiences are essential to who we are.

TRAVEL IMPACTS OUR CLIMATE

It’s time to think about how our travel impacts the world around us

Roughly 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by tourism

Greenhouse gas emissions, sometimes called carbon emissions or CO2e (carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas equivalents), include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and others.

From EPA

From Nature

That’s 4.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year – about the same as providing electricity to 33% of our planet

From Nature and IEA

CLIMATE-FRIENDLY CHOICES

The way we plan our travel has the power to make a change

COLLECTIVE ACTION

50% of travelers are making more climate-friendly travel choices

From Booking.com

Our travel choices, together with changes in the industry, help build a climate-friendly future

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Flying for two hours instead of six saves about 65% emissions per passenger

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Emissions are calculated per passenger. So the more passengers a flight has, the smaller each passenger’s share of the flight’s emissions.

Choose where to go

CLIMATE-FRIENDLY DESTINATIONS

When choosing where to go next, consider how far away it is. Distance determines your transport options, and your impact.

Explore nearby

Exploring closer to home is climate-friendly because you travel for less time and don’t have to fly. It can also be more cost-effective.

Choose how to get there

CLIMATE-FRIENDLY TRANSPORT

Transportation is tourism’s main source of emissions. How you travel to your next destination can reduce emissions.

Alternatives to flying

Compared to flying, taking a bus, train, or sharing a car has less impact on the environment. When available, they can be more cost-effective and convenient.

Fly less

When burning fuel, planes produce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas equivalents (CO2e). Flying less, or not at all, means you avoid these emissions. This reduces the impact that your travel has on the environment.

Catch a train or bus

Short-haul flights are especially inefficient. Consider replacing shorter flights with a train or bus ride. Over a similar distance, trains and buses produce less emissions than planes because they burn less fuel. Electric trains or buses that use carbon-free energy sources are especially climate-friendly because they don’t burn fossil fuels.

Take a road trip

Compared to taking a bus, driving causes more emissions per person because a car carries fewer passengers. Even so, driving with passengers is a more climate-friendly travel choice than flying.

Train

Train

4 kg CO2e
CO2e stands for “carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas equivalents”. CO2e is a unit of measurement for emissions. It bundles together the impact of all applicable greenhouse gases and non-CO2 effects.
Per passenger traveling 100 km

Train travel pollutes less than driving or flying
Car

Car

19 kg CO2e
Per passenger traveling 100 km

Car travel pollutes more than train travel, and less than flying
Plane

Plane

25 kg CO2e
Per passenger traveling 100 km

Flying pollutes more than train and car travel

From Our World in Data

The less fuel a transport mode burns and the more passengers it carries, the lower its environmental impact per passenger

Compare flight options

When traveling further away, it’s not always possible to avoid flying. But, consider which flights you take – some flights pollute less than others.

Fly direct

The number of stops and time in the air make a difference. Direct flights have one takeoff and climb, and typically fly for less time. Compared to connecting flights, this causes less pollution.

Choose Economy

The less space your seat takes up on the plane, the lower “your share” of the flight’s emissions. That’s because the amount of space a seat takes is considered when calculating emissions per passenger.

Consider fuel efficiency

Newer aircraft can be around 20% more fuel-efficient than older models. The less fuel a flight burns, the less pollution it causes.

Contribute to the climate

When it’s not possible to avoid emissions caused by flying, consider contributing to verified projects that need funding to permanently remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Compare emissions for flights

Distance
Flying shorter distances typically burns less fuel, reducing the flight’s emissions

Stops
Making fewer stops typically burns less fuel, reducing the flight’s emissions

Cabin class
The less space your seat takes up, the lower “your share” of the flight’s emissions

Emissions are measured in CO2. CO2 stands for carbon dioxide. Emissions values are representative and do not reflect exact itineraries. Learn more about how emissions are estimated

Tree and electricity conversions from: EPA.

Average emissions per passenger
It’ll take 2 tree seedlings growing for 10 years to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide
That’s the same as powering an average home for 9 days

Aircraft features that affect emissions

Tip: see emissions for your flight search on Google Flights

A CLIMATE-FRIENDLY FUTURE

In addition to the choices we make, many travel companies are committing to climate-friendly practices

Choose where to stay

CLIMATE-FRIENDLY PLACES TO STAY

When choosing a place to stay, support accommodations that are committed to lowering their environmental impact

SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES

Sustainable accommodations reduce their impact by using less energy and water, cutting down their waste, or sourcing their supplies in climate-friendly ways

Sustainability practices & eco certifications

Accommodations identify these practices as opportunities to reduce their environmental impact

Energy efficiency

Includes energy-saving thermostats, energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling, or using energy from carbon-free sources

Water conservation

Accommodations use less water through water-efficient faucets, toilets or showers, or encourage guests to reuse towels

Waste reduction

Includes recycling or food waste-reduction programs, donating or composting excess food, safely disposing of electronics, or not using single-use plastics

Tip: find climate-friendly places to stay on Google

Sustainable sourcing

Accommodations source food and beverages locally, offer eco-friendly toiletries, or cook responsibly-sourced seafood

Tip: find climate-friendly places to stay on Google

Recognized eco certifications

Accommodations can also gain eco certifications. To be recognized as eco-certified on Google, certifications must be verified by independent organizations.

Google logo

How is Google helping?

SUSTAINABLE WITH GOOGLE

Google is committed to building tools that move the industry toward a climate-friendly future, support travel providers, and enable travelers to make climate-conscious choices.

INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTIONS

Google is working with the travel industry, academics, and travel providers to develop the Travel Impact Model (TIM). This publicly available model has the potential to estimate air travel impact globally and lead to climate-positive change in the travel industry.

CLIMATE-CONSCIOUS TRAVEL

Make climate-conscious choices when choosing your next flight or hotel on Google. You can find eco-certified hotels, or compare emissions for flights.

GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS

Google has partnered with the Travalyst Coalition to develop and drive global sustainability standards across the travel industry.

RESOURCES

Learn more about climate-friendly travel