Climate change is a global issue as well as local and personal. As people are looking to travel to their holiday destinations, questions like “How to travel sustainably” are on everybody’s minds.
Google committed to empower 1 billion people through our products, to make the sustainable choice an easier choice. At the individual level, these choices may seem small, but when people have the tools to make them at scale, they equal big improvements.
Here’s how Google products help you get from A to B more sustainably this summer
Getting to your holiday destination – The first step towards more sustainable holidays, is more sustainable planning. If you are going to a destination you can only reach by flying, Google Search helps you understand the CO2 emissions associated with each potential trip directly in Google Flights. A green badge next to the emissions number to help you sift through your options more easily, and you can filter all flights by “CO2 emissions” to easily find and book the flight with the lowest footprint.
To produce these estimates, we’re combining data from the European Environmental Agency with the flight-specific information we get from airlines and other providers such as aircraft type, trip distance and the number of seats in each seating class. In collaboration with the Travalyst coalition, we are helping to develop an open model for calculating carbon emissions from air travel and promote standardisation across the travel industry using this framework.
Sleeping sustainably – Google Search helps you find hotels that have made significant commitments to green practices. This includes hotels that are certified for meeting high standards of sustainability from certain independent organisations, like Green Key or EarthCheck, will have an eco-certified badge next to their name. This helps you understand their eco-friendly practices, from waste reduction to energy efficiency or water conservation measures.
Hop on your bike – Over the past few months, cycling has increased by more than 40% worldwide – which is no surprise given that the warmer weather and high petrol prices have people opting for more sustainable transportation choices. Google Maps has provided cycling directions for over 12 years thanks to AI paired with data from cities, trusted cartographic partners and feedback from the Google Maps community. Now, with our new cycling route information, you can easily compare bike routes and see even more granular details (when this data is available) to prepare for the ride ahead.
Just get cycling directions to any destination. In addition to seeing the elevation along your route, you’ll also know if you’ll encounter heavy car traffic, stairs or steep hills. You’ll also be able to get a highly detailed breakdown of the route itself so you can know at a glance what type of road you’ll be biking on – like a major road vs. a local street. Gone are the days of unknowingly pedaling up a strenuous hill or on a route with more car traffic than you’re comfortable with.
Charge your EV easily – If you have an electric vehicle, Google Maps can help put your range anxiety at ease. Just search for “ev charging station” to see all of the stations nearby, along with helpful details, like the business where the station is located, port types and charging speeds. And for some stations, you can even see if a charger is available in real-time – helping you avoid the line and save valuable time. With cars with Google built in, Maps will even help you take that EV road trip, automatically helping you find stations along your route.
Transit information – By tapping on the transit tab in Directions on Google Maps, you get directions to any place by bus, train, subway, and even ferry. When available, you can see real time arrival and departure times, transfer points, and any upcoming service delays. And, Google Maps gives you all the information you need to be prepared for your ride. Not only can you see how crowded your transit ride will be – so you can know if you’re likely to get a seat – but you can see helpful information, like whether there’s security on board, what the temperature is like, and if there are wheelchair accessible routes available