Traveling is one of the best ways you can spend money, while still gaining so much. Even if you travel for work, you can still take some time to enjoy the local culture. Yet, many people still aren’t aware of the carbon footprint they produce, especially during traveling. In order to be more considerate of the environment, it’s necessary to be more sustainable when traveling, so here are some tips that will help you be eco-friendly and still enjoy your trips:
1. Try to pack lightly
Heavy luggage can be tricky, especially when flying since then planes need more fuel and waste more energy. That’s why packing lightly can be a perfect way to start your trip: instead of bringing a lot of clothes that you won’t even wear, try to pack only the essentials, with some alternatives that you may use in case you stain your clothes or need a quick change of outfit. Also, using the eco-friendly packing organizers can make a lot of room in your suitcase, so you’ll be able to pack more effectively and neatly.
2. If possible, avoid flying
Of course, flying is necessary if you want to cross long distances, but in case you’re traveling fun, it’s better to take a road trip instead of booking expensive plane tickets. Similarly, traveling by train, bus or a car can offer you a lot of new experiences including opportunities to stop along the way and visit places that you wouldn’t consider seeing otherwise. Overland trips are much better for the environment so next time you feel like going somewhere new, feel free to experiment with other means of transport, and include flying only if there’s nothing else available.
3. Stay away from fast-food restaurants
McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King can be so enticing, after all, their food tastes the same regardless of the location of the restaurant, which is why many tourists opt to eat there. Even though that’s quite convenient, it’s worth pointing out that chain fast-food restaurants are big polluters, since they use a lot of plastic for their packaging and cause a lot of greenhouse gas emissions whilst harvesting the ingredients. Eating at unknown places can be risky, but luckily, there are tons of reviews online, so you can always be sure whether the place is safe to eat there.
4. Eat locally
As previously mentioned, local restaurants can sometimes pose risk to one’s health, but if you’re careful, all of that can be avoided. Besides, eating local food can also help the owner of the restaurant earn money and improve their business, which is always better than giving money to the corporation that will probably use that profit to continue the destruction of the environment. Trying local food can introduce you to new tasty recipes and new experiences, so next time instead of burger and fries, feel free to experiment with new dishes and cuisines.
5. Bring travel-sized products
It’s difficult to imagine a trip without favorite cosmetic products, and if you’re one of the people who need to bring lotions and creams, it’s better to bring travel-sized bottles so you’ll have more space in your suitcase for things that really matter, such as clothes and footwear. Many brands have travel-sized packaging, however a more environmentally friendly option is to get a set of reusable travel-size bottles. you can find sustainable travel-sized bottles and refill them each time you travel with toners, cleansers and, everything else that you need in order to look fresh and beautiful.
Also, instead of filling your suitcase with countless accessories and jewelry, it’s best to pack only the bare essentials, such as one statement necklace and one or two rings.
6. Reduce plastic waste
Plastic waste is one of the biggest pollutants in the world, so in order to be a sustainable traveler, you should focus on reducing your plastic usage. For example, try to bring a reusable water bottle instead of using plastic ones, and if you plan on buying souvenirs, make sure they’re made of metal, wood and other reusable materials. Similarly, if you’re going camping, make sure to bring reusable cutlery so you won’t contribute to the pollution.
When it comes to shopping, it’s best to bring your own reusable bags, since plastic bags are the big contributing factor to the overall plastic waste.
Being a green traveler might seem difficult at first, but if you truly want to do your part and help the environment, this is something you should definitely start practicing. With a bit of organizing, it’s possible to have an unforgettable trip without polluting the planet.
Featured photo by Karsten Würth