Living an eco-friendly life and being a lover of travel means that you can’t let your green lifestyle waiver while travelling the world, which is easier said than done! With research, mindfulness, and creating new habits, you can find ways to respect the planet without compromising the experience of exploring new places.
Travel like a backpacker
Backpacking, or taking tips from those who do it, can be a helpful tool when you’re trying to make your travel more eco-friendly. Travelling like a backpacker means you can pack lighter, eat like a local, and reduce your carbon footprint while travelling.
But why do these things matter? Travelling light, especially while on a plane, can allow the plane to use less fuel, instead of weighing it down with unnecessary luggage. When you eat like a local, you’re likely choosing seasonal and fresh produce that hasn’t travelled far to get to your plate. Additionally, you’re not over-ordering with the excitement of new cuisine and causing excess food waste.
Pack eco-friendly products
Just like when you’re at home, the products you use shouldn’t be compromised for convenience when travelling. Choosing sustainable products to bring along with you and avoiding single-use plastic is harder when you’re on the go, but it’s just as important.
- Bring your own flatware with you when you travel. If you’re going to be eating street food, it is often served with wasteful cutlery. Come equipped with your own cutlery set that fits right into your pocket.
- If you’re a contact lens wearer, don’t settle for wasteful contact packs. Bring along daily contacts that use less plastic and are space-saving.
- Pack your own shampoo and conditioner in reusable travel bottles. You can save the hotel bathroom products for the next person! This is especially important if you’re staying for an extended period of time or at more than one hotel because you’ll be saving multiple plastic bottles from going in the waste bin.
Get comfortable with public transportation
If you’re not from a big city or heavily populated area, it can be hard to get comfortable on public transportation. Not only can it be difficult to learn bus and train routes, but there is also the factor of being in close quarters with a lot of people.
However, it’s much more eco-friendly than renting a car or using Uber because it moves more people with fewer vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. When you rent a car or use a ride-share service, you’re contributing to emissions entering the air for just a short ride, convenience, or for more control over your travel. Not only is this less eco-friendly, it will also cost you more money. Instead, familiarize yourself with train and bus routes to better time out your travel, and research safety precautions for travelling on public transportation.
Find eco-friendly accommodation
Usually, the first factor that comes to mind when booking accommodations is the price. However, other factors should come into play as well. Look for hotels, hostels, or Airbnbs that have sustainable credentials. To find out how eco-friendly a place is, just email them and ask them about their practices. The most important factors to inquire about include:
- Do they partake in green initiatives like farm-to-table dining or use non-toxic, organic ingredients in their shampoos and soaps?
- How is their energy managed? Do they use renewable resources or have energy-efficient electricity and plumbing?
- Do they support local business, non-profits, or the community in any way?
Whether you bring along eco-friendly products with you as you travel or you go out of your way to do research on local accommodations and transportation, your green efforts will help to give you peace of mind while you’re exploring a new place.
You don’t have to and shouldn’t compromise your eco-conscious lifestyle while travelling!
Jessica Bean is a full-time writer and editor. She is passionate about environmental issues and enjoys spending her free time travelling, shopping, and devouring all things true-crime.