To live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, you have to look at your behaviors and how they add up to your environmental footprint. Many who adopt this practice find that their travel habits are some of their worst offenders.
Does this mean you need to stop traveling?
Absolutely not. The world is full of amazing things to see! Traveling is a fulfilling part of a full life for many people.
Instead, take a look at ways you can improve the way you travel. The more of these sustainable practices you can adopt, the more the travel industry will change to adapt to them, and the greater impact you can make as an eco-friendly traveler.
Avoid flying and travel by land instead
By far, the worst thing for the environment we do while traveling is flying. To help with this, look at ways you can minimize the number of flights you’re taking. For example, if you want to travel to multiple places, look at taking one big flight to a central location and then taking buses, trains, or even renting a car so you can travel by land instead. In some areas, taking a boat trip may also be an option.
When you do fly, also look at which flights have the least environmental impact. Websites like Skyscanner now make a note on the available flights for your trip that are more environmentally friendly.
Bring reusable products
Many people now adopt sustainable practices that help them avoid single-use plastics in their everyday lives. However, while traveling, this becomes more complicated and many don’t plan for this.
Plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, small shampoo and soap bottles in hotels, and straws in every drink are just a few of the many offenders that can add up while you travel.
You can purchase a reusable water bottle with a filter to bring on your trip that will also fold down to be travel friendly. You can also find travel-sized bottles for your bathroom products, lightweight bamboo cutlery, reusable straws, and other reusable items to cut down on your impact.
Avoid the big chain stores and spend locally
When you’re looking at restaurants, hotels, or even attractions to see on your trips, take a look at options from smaller, local businesses.
While staying at a major hotel chain has the comfort of familiarity, finding a great local place will provide a more authentic and interesting experience. It will also mean that your tourist dollars go to the locals and mean a more powerful and sustainable impact on the community you’re visiting.
You can visit travel blogs or sites like TripAdvisor to find reviews on local businesses that have a positive reputation.
Stay at eco-friendly hotels
Not all hotels keep the same practices. Eco-friendly hotels will advertise that they make choices with the environment in mind. This will mean choices like purchasing bedding and towels made from sustainable materials, like bamboo. It will mean the restaurant at the hotel likely uses local foods instead of imported ones. It will also mean they will have options for you to avoid having your sheets and towels washed every day you’re there, to save water. The hotel will also make less use of single-use plastics.
Having these choices made for you at your accommodation will make it easier for you to avoid habits that can add up, and supporting businesses like this mean they become more popular. The more popular the eco-friendly businesses become, the more common these sustainable practices will be.