It’s one thing to think about living sustainably, but it’s a completely different thing to put it into action. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is not easy, and it does not stop once you leave the house. It covers all aspects of your life, especially when you have to go to another place.
Travel is now part of many people’s goals and interests, but if you live an eco-friendly life you know that your carbon footprint and accumulated waste is not helping the environment. But there are ways to travel sustainably, and you don’t need to sacrifice too much of your leisure activities. Here are some travel tips that will make your carbon footprint less visible and your vacation eco-friendly.
Try not to Bag It
Everyone wants memories of their trips to last a long time. However, do you really want it to last for 5000 years inside a plastic bag? Plastic bags take a long time to decay and often have other harmful effects that affect the ecology and biology of an area. If you’re traveling, use only recycled shopping bags. These bags are durable and can be used several times.
When flying, you’ve got to make every kilo count. This may surprise you, but the heavier an airplane weighs, the more carbon emissions it produces. Besides that, packing lightly can make traveling easier for everyone. Limit your luggage to accessories you need — the environment will thank you sincerely.
Choose Sustainable Modes of Transport
Taking an airplane produces a lot more carbon emissions per passenger. Hence, whenever time permits, try to take the train or a bus. Though the travel time might take longer, you’ll see more attractions and sceneries along the way. But if the circumstances do not permit and you need to take flight, opt for a non-stop flight. Direct flights are a time-saver, but also consume less fuel.
Once you reach your destination, always take public transport. Doing so will cut down your carbon emissions even further. Not only that, but it’ll also enhance your travel experiences and allow you to interact more with the locals.
Make Yourself at Home in Your Hotel
Keep in mind always to treat your hotel like you would your home. Try not to do things you wouldn’t do in your daily life. For example, avoid changing your towels after one use. You don’t need to run the tap when brushing your teeth and don’t turn the shower into full blast.
Avoid Bottled Water
Water is a necessity everyone needs to have access to on the go. However, plastic water bottles are guilty of a lot of waste. In the United States alone, around 35 million plastic bottles are purchased every year. Only 25% of these bottles get recycled yearly. The other 75% remain untreated and cause environmental pollution. And there are still many countries that do not have the proper means to recycle plastics. Carry your own personal flask or water bottle, so you don’t have to buy water bottles wherever you go.
Stick to Your Designated Path
If you go on a camping or hiking trip, it is easy to stray from your path because you’ve found nature all too intoxicating. While this isn’t necessarily bad, going off the designated path could mean trampling on endangered or protected plants. Furthermore, you might be attracting wild animals and disturbing their trails. Always maintain a safe distance, and the best way is to stay on the path.
Give Back to the Locals
While a lot of cash is spent on tourism, most of the money (this can even go up to 90%) usually goes to tour and hotel operators, and not necessarily into the community. If you want to help the locals protect the area and contribute to their economy, you could go shopping in the local markets and eat in small restaurants offering local fare. You could also stay with a local or an eco-friendly accommodation. Many small inns and bed and breakfasts could offer you more local color and history, so why not look for these places on your vacation?
Wrapping it Up
In this day and age, traveling has become an easy and enjoyable, offering people a different view of how other people live their lives, even if they live on opposite sides of the world. But if you want to protect this world so other travelers could enjoy the beauty you’ve seen, then we need to live sustainably to make sure that we see now will still be there for years to come.