I believe it is much easier to lead a less wasteful life whilst you are at home. You have your surroundings, you know where to shop, needless to say you have all you ‘zero waste’ essentials with you. But what about when you are away from your day to day life? What about when you are travelling? Are there any ways we could travel more consciously?
I myself love travelling and at the moment I am planning a big adventure for the upcoming year. This made me to think about different ways I could make my next travels as ‘green’ as possible. I did my research, I brainstormed and this is what I came up with.
1.Choose to support a green destination. If you are just in the first stages of your travel plans and you haven’t set your mind on particular destination yet I would advise you to look for greener destinations. These are the places that are making a conscious decision to lead a more sustainable way of living. Check Green Destinations to see which places are on this list. By choosing to travel to those places we show our support and are saying a big yes to the positive changes they are trying to implement.
2. Rely less on fuel powered engines. I know this one is an extremely hard one, especially since most of us already rely on planes to get us to different locations. In this case our carbon footprint is already quite negative, however there are ways to reduce it once you reach your destination. Choose public transport, bikes instead of motorcycles, go on hiking adventures. Say no to cruise ships as they are extreme pollutants. Plan your daily activities in which you would be able to rely on nothing but your own feet as much as you can.
3.Ditch guidebooks. Yes, I used to be one of those people who had to have a ‘nice’ looking travel guidebook. I remember I got one before our trip to Singapore. Have I used it once? The answer is no. You would be surprised how many people, instead of using digital platforms to plan their trips still buy and rely on paper guidebooks. Choose travel blogs, travel apps, e-books to give you all the tips and inspirations for your upcoming adventures. Sweet & simple.
4. Choose locally sourced food. Cut your carbon footprint by supporting local grown foods and shopping at farmers markets instead of big chain supermarkets. Immerse yourself in new culture by trying authentic home style restaurants. Private owned food places are more likely to use produce which they have grown themselves.
5.Lookout for locally owned accommodation. When choosing accommodation (like food), I would suggest to look out for locally owned places. There are 3 great reasons behind this: 1. Your money helps to support local community. 2. Big hotels , more than locally owned ones, tend to be super wasteful in terms of their power/water usage.You do not want to contribute to that 3. Locally owned accommodation will come with a personal touch, which no big hotel will ever give you.
6. Think twice before choosing your activity. It becomes quite easy to put your pink shades on whilst you travel and sign yourself for activities which first can look very exotic and appealing. I see so many people sign themselves for ‘adventures’ which involve animals. They think it is all nice and alluring to be posing in front of drugged tigers. The reality is way different. Most of the activities which involve animals are a cruel business and you definitely do not want to become part of this in any way. Do not get fooled.
7. Think about your trash. I believe it is good to have this one in mind way before you pack your bags. Avoid unnecessary packaging as chances are recycling process is not as advanced in foreign lands as in your home country.Remember to pack reusable bags, water bottles, trusty spork and other zero waste essentials which would help you stay away from those one time use materials.
8.Choose a green tour company. You want to make sure the company respects nature and its surroundings. You want to make sure you know that the work they are doing is beneficial for both: them as well as the whole community. Lastly, you want to sign for a tour company, which talks openly and proudly about their ethical work.
9. If possible, choose to travel during low season. It not always possible, but it can be done. This small decision will be so beneficial for locals. During peak season they tend to have enough work to get by, but this completely changes during low season. Some families really struggle to get by. Your choice to travel during low season could be the help they really need.
10.& lastly – Give back. It does not mean you have to sign yourself for months long, most times highly priced volunteering company. Be open mined. If you are visiting a less developed country, chances are there are tuns of ways you could help if you would be simply willing just to offer your time. Local schools, health centres and various communities. Research well what problems the area you are visiting is facing. Offer your help.
Take these tips next time you start planing your trip. Home or away, there is always a greener & more conscious way of doing things. Travelling is no exception. We can always choose better.
A travel & environmental blog for the adventurous soul.
Aiming to share my globe-trotting life and inspire you to explore this beautiful world with a little bit more compassion…