It’s safe to say that environmentalism isn’t on most minds when it comes to traveling. And with that being said, collective efforts will be crucial if we continue to want an Earth to travel in for years to come. Employing all sorts of strategies, both big and small, that work for your lifestyle can aid in the common goal of restoring our Earth to its former, green glory.
1) Make a zero-waste kit
A zero waste kit should be able to replace any wasteful items you’d need on your trip. A water bottle, eco-friendly utensils, reusable toiletries, and a canvas bag are all great items for your first kit. A zero waste kit is an easy start to being the eco-conscious traveler you were meant to be.
2) Pack light
It’s simple: the less you weigh, the less fuel you’ll consume. Not to mention there are no extra baggage fees. Take the time to consider whether or not you need that extra, extra pair of socks, or if you are actually going to use all of that full size shampoo bottle.
3) Hold onto your trash on the airplane
Most airlines aren’t very recycle-friendly; a majority of the time, they discard all the trash, both plastic and organic, in a single bin when they land. With that in mind, you should hold on to your recyclables until you deboard the plane. That way, you can be sure that your waste is disposed of properly.
4) Book sustainably
No matter where you stay or what you plan on doing, research the business you’re booking with to educate yourself on their eco-initiatives. There are different options out there that can appeal to everyone. For example, if eco-friendly hotels aren’t your thing, there’s a sustainable cruise-line, or even entire islands-turned-nature-preserves for you.
5) Prepare to stay for as long as possible
It should be obvious that the longer you stay in one place, the less vehicle pollutants you’ll generate. Be sure to make plans to stay in an area with a lot to do, so the only traveling you have to do is by foot or bike. Not only will you experience a deeper sense of place, but you’ll also decrease your carbon footprint at the same time.
6) “Give” correctly
Although it may seem altruistic, you should be wary of giving “hand-outs” to the locals. They may develop a sense of dependency and need for financial support in the community. Rather, donate to a reputable organization in the area that is committed to working with the people, like Pack For A Purpose, for example.
7) Make sustainable purchases
When shopping for souvenirs, try your best to buy locally made and sourced products. You should also try to avoid products made from animals and plastics. The most eco-friendly options is to choose products made from wood, ceramic, and even some metals.
8) Eat and travel local
Not only does eating local help to reduce your meal’s food miles, but you also support local businesses rather than large, polluting corporations. And if you need to travel by vehicle, consider using public transportation available rather than a taxi service so you can reduce your overall fuel consumption.
9) Talk about it
Tell your friends just how much fun you had and how green you were able to be. Mention what worked and what didn’t and let them know what you would do different. Keeping the eco-conversation going and getting more people excited about eco-travel are some of the best things you can do to raise awareness.
This is a challenge to all those trying to be a part of the eco-community, but were never quite able to. The earth isn’t getting any younger, and it sure isn’t getting any cleaner, so it’s about time to get started.