Travel is an addiction. We all love it and want more of it. But are we responsible about it? When we go places we’ve never been, do we treat it like we would our home or do we trash it like it’s a hotel room with the mentality that “someone will clean this up.”
Eco-friendly tourism is becoming a movement and many vacationers are appreciating the importance of caring for the environment every day. With global warming increasing the sea level, smog filling the skies of our cities, and the 270,000 square mile garbage patch in the pacific is a clear notion of this.
Sustainability can improve our vacations in a positive uplifting manner and leave us feeling that affect even after we’ve gone home.
Practical Tips for Traveling “Eco Friendly”
While everyone strives to be eco-friendly, often it can be difficult to do while on vacation. But here’s my top practical tips for environmentally friendly travel
When we start packing for our trip, we tend to think of the worst case scenarios and pack in case anything happens – What if it rains? What if it’s cold? What if i dont have enough shirts?
But the more we pack and the heavier we pack means that the plane, car, bus or train will be heavier which will require more fuel. This may seem trivial or small, but with millions of people traveling each year, every little bit adds up.
Besides, it’s so much more comfortable to just toss a backpack on your back and not have to worry about pulling your set of luggage down the beach with you…
The #1 easiest way to reduce your impact is with an eco bottle. We all have one but we typically dont remember to bring it on our trips. When we travel we typically always get drinks and food outside. While it isn’t very practical to bring plates and silverware with us when we travel it’s very practical to have a tumbler with us on our trips.
I suggest getting one that is completely seal-able so it doesn’t drip or leak if you toss it in your bag. Also ensure it’s insulated so it can handle both hot and cold drinks.
If you could eliminate your waste from cups going into landfills, the impact of that is huge!
Before you head out, unplug everything thats non-essential. Even when you’re not using an appliance, having it plugged in still takes a small trickle of electricity. That adds up over time. Not only will it save electricity, but also save money which is a win-win situation for you.
At Home Hotels
When we stay in a hotel, we tend to go overboard. We leave the lights on. We leave the air conditioning on full blast even when we’re gone. We let the water in the shower run for extended periods of time.
I know I have purposefully left the air conditioning on in hotels in hot areas so that when I get back it’s cooled off already. I dont do this anymore because it really is a huge waste of electricity to keep it cool when nobody is there.
So the concept of “home-tel” was born. The idea is to treat your hotel as if it was your home. Keep the thermostat at an acceptable level and turn everything off when you leave to limit your impact on energy.
Travel Like A Local
While there aren’t many options to reduce the emissions from a flight, there is so much you can do on the ground when you travel. Visiting new cities and tourist destinations can be a great time to use a bicycle to explore the place.
The most eco-friendly way to travel is by bus. Yes, bus rides can be a bit long but the environmental benefits definitely outweigh that. Studies say that taking the bus over all other forms of transportation cut your environmental impact in emissions by half!
Another way – just walk. Many cities are very walk-able and you see so much more along the way… Besides,These Boots Were Made For Walking!…
Don’t Bag It
Shopping is the #1 sin when traveling. When we travel we see so many great items that you just cant find where you’re living. While I dont suggest you stop your shopping habits, I suggest you find ways to limit the bags you acquire.
When the time comes to pack up after your trip, you’re left with a dozen or so plastic and paper bags. If you only took a canvas or eco-bag with you, you could have put everything in it each day and eliminated all of that waste.
I typically bring my Adidas draw string bag. It’s super light weight and fits in my pocket even. Find one that speaks to you and bring it everywhere you go!
Drink “Near” Beer
If you’re traveling the world, do you still pick your home-town beer option? If so, thats the least green option. Beer is heavy and takes alot to ship it around the world.
Since you’re visiting somewhere new, why not try a “near” beer which is a local craft beer. Trying a local beer is not only the most eco-friendly option, it also supports someone trying to follow their passion and create their own flavor and taste.
Who knows, you just might find your next favorite beer.
While I try to follow as many of these every time I travel, I am not perfect and nobody expects you to be either. There will always be times where you cant do the greenest option, and thats ok.
Just try your best and enjoy every trip you take always