Do you want to travel sustainably? Is about time. Here is a guide to responsible travel and to travel sustainably, a best way of tourism that doesn’t damage our natural and cultural environments.
TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
The airline industry plays an enormous part in this (due to their carbon emissions) – it’s more about treating the environment with as much respect as possible. And this includes how we can look after our resources, and give back to the communities.A lot of communities around the world depend on tourism to survive so better to make sure we all treat them with respect, to give back. However, you can always try to plan your route to minimize carbon emissions, reduce the use of planes and travel sustainably – try to travel by train where possible, and use other public transport methods when necessary.
SAY NO TO PLASTIC
Plastic is unquestionably everywhere. Almost every single daily product in households all over the world are made from plastic. Its practical uses turned it into an omnipresent pollutant, which leaks its petrochemical ingredients back into the earth’s groundwater or directly into the sea when disposed of. So, the easiest way to reduce your plastic consumption is to just say no!
Try to focus on reducing and avoiding the use of plastic, this will help tremendously in your way of traveling sustainably.
USE BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES
Do something good three times a day while brushing your teeth! We are using sustainable toothbrushes made out of bamboo from HYDROPHIL. Your teeth remain clean and the environment will be protected thanks to the renewable raw materials used. Naturally water neutral, vegan & fair.
REFUSE THE STRAW
Straws and more straws everywhere. This is another big issue that everyone should be aware of. During beach cleans, straws are all over and to be honest, they are unnecessary most of the time. Bars and restaurants hand out straws for everything! Can you believe that?
Well… if we talk about cocktails! They are better with straws, and in the case of drinking fresh coconut it’s also helpful to have one, otherwise it’s quite difficult to drink from it! So what you can do is to carry a straw with you! There are straws made out of bamboo, aluminum or paper. Try to avoid the plastic ones at all costs.
Solid toiletries are a pretty good way of helping this lovely planet of ours. One of the best places to find solid toiletries is HYDROPHIL. They have a whole array of eco-friendly travel products including an herbal mouthwash essence, toothpaste, cotton swabs, lip balm, conjac sponge, lavender and lemongrass soap usable for hand, body & hair. All of these toiletries are light, take up very little space and involve no nasty plastic. Plus, they smell super good. Who wants to carry around huge plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner anyway? It’s time to use it and travel more sustainably.
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR WATER CONSUMPTION
Water is life and a very important element. Some places in the world continue to struggle with access to clean water. So please, be aware of that and skip the unnecessarily long showers, and don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Even if you’re traveling to a modern city that doesn’t seem to be suffering from water availability, you never know if that use is being taken away from neighboring small villages and their inhabitants.
REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE
Probably it’s not the first time you left home to travel and forget to unplug your wifi router, electric water heater, TV, and other electronics that you use in your daily life. You may have done your part for the environment from the previous tips, but if you left some of your appliances at home turned on, then you are not helping at all.
If you want to travel sustainably, before leaving your house, please make sure that all your appliances or equipment are unplugged. It will cut the power bill down for the month and your wallet will thank you together with the planet earth.
In the hotel room tone down the air-conditioning a bit, don’t use lights that you don’t need, and while you’re not around turn off everything before leaving your room. By simply turning off the lights and tv in your hotel when you are out for the day can make a huge difference!
BRING A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE WITH YOU WHILE TRAVELING
It may seem easy to buy a bottle of water at the airport, at your hotel, or the train station. But, did you realize that way easier to have your reusable bottle with you that you can fill up for free? Nowadays, more and more places are adding in water fill stations, enabling you to get fresh water and save that extra coin! Again, your wallet will thank you.
BRING A REUSABLE BAG FOR YOUR SHOPPING
In case you have forgotten to bring your reusable bag, no worries! There are plenty of stores that are offering reusable bags for generally less than $1. Not only will you save plastic, but these bags are much sturdier and will last you quite a while!
BE SUSTAINABLE AT HOTELS / HOSTELS / YOUR AIRBNB
Chances are you’ve seen signs at hotels you have stayed in saying that having your towels and bedsheets washed daily is optional. By reusing it, you can save many gallons of water.
BUY LOCAL GOODS
What’s the point of visiting different countries if you’re not going to support local produce, right? Buy directly from the local market stalls, immerse yourself into the different colors and flavors of what they’re offering, and don’t forget to interact with the local people respectfully.
Purchasing locally-made crafts and souvenirs may be more expensive compared with cheaper, imported products. However, buying local allows you to give back to communities who need the contributions more. As well as providing jobs for the locals. In the end, you will realize that traveling like this will tell you more about how these products are part of their culture and you will start to appreciate way more every destination you visit.
RESPECT LOCALS AND THEIR CULTURE
Every time you are outside of your country it’s important to remember that you’re a guest; so better to behave like one.
On this planet, there are a lot of people and places which view the world very differently than you and that their customs might feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable as you experience them. But just because something is different or you don’t agree with it, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong or your way is better. Just embrace it in respectful and let it flow, we are sure you are going to learn a big lesson by doing that.
Before traveling to a new country, be aware of cultural norms like dress code, language, food etiquette, and general behavior. There are a lot of gestures that have different meanings in different cultures. Learn from locals on what’s appropriate before visiting any religious and cultural sites. The beauty of travel is also found in discovering these new customs that make up our world such a diverse place, and respecting it for their individuality is a must.
RESPECT & PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
The world is a truly beautiful place. It’s not the first time where we’ve been in the middle of pristine nature and we discover piles of rubbish. Sadly, it’s becoming common to spot piles of trash during our hiking trails, visits to the beaches, and national parks.
Regardless of whether it’s your home country or somewhere you’re visiting, please respect the local environment. Take your trash with you until you can find an adequate place to leave it. Be mindful of your surroundings, don’t litter and make an effort to travel sustainably.
PRIORITIZE ANIMAL WELFARE
To travel sustainably is not only being careful where you put the trash or the energy you use. Enjoying nature and observing exotic wildlife are frequent activities while traveling. However, they sometimes come at a cost to the animals. There are many travelers out there that are animal lovers, but they may lack awareness of tourist activities that prejudice the animals they care about.
It’s important to choose ethical activities and do your research to know what tours and attractions cause suffering to animals or allow travelers to interact with animals in abusive ways. Ensure you’re remaining ethical in your pursuits when it comes to viewing and interacting with animals while traveling. Be sure to visit only places that do not capture animals from the wild and provide healthy and adequate living conditions.
REDUCE OR STOP EATING MEAT
It makes more than one year since we stop eating meat. However, we do not expect you to become a vegetarian or vegan, but the simple act of reducing your meat and dairy consumption can have a positive effect on the environment.
Let’s check some facts:
- Compared to crops like potatoes, wheat, and rice, beef requires 160 times more land and produces over 11 times more greenhouse gases
- Of the land that isn’t covered by ice, livestock takes up 30% of our land.
- By 2050, it’s estimated that the emissions from the agriculture and food production industry will account for about half of the total available”carbon budget“.
- One pound of beef requires around 9,000 liters of water over its lifetime
- One billion people go hungry every day, and yet livestock now consumes the majority of the world’s crops.
Reducing red meat consumption could lead to a per capita food and land use-related greenhouse gas emissions reduction of between 15 and 35 percent by 2050, according to this research. So, why don’t you give it a try? We bet you’ll discover an incredible world of tastes and flavors you never knew about.
Do you have any more tips on how to travel sustainably and be a responsible traveler? We’re always interested to get to know more about, how we can minimize our footprint and leave a positive impact on the planet! Please share your tips and experiences in the comments below! Thank you. 🙂 Still don’t know where to travel next, get inspired here.