We love travelling as a way to connect to nature, relieve stress and re-energize. Bring your eco-conscious with you on the road, as it is possible to travel and take care of the planet at the same time. Here are some of our favorite eco-friendly travel tips for your next adventure.
#1. Create your own reusables kit
In the USA alone, only 23% of the 50 billion plastic water bottles purchased in 2018, were recycled. Many countries around the world lack the proper means to recycle single-use containers and plastic cups and tourism can be a major trash source for these local communities. Reduce your plastic and waste consumption by bringing along a reusable cutlery set (may include a fork, spook, chopsticks and a straw), a water bottle for water on-the-go or travel mug for your morning brew.
#2. Offset your air miles or choose a more sustainable airline
Did you know flying produces the most amount of carbon per passenger? Traditional fossil fuels used in aviation aren’t just unsustainable but limited in resources but the switch to biofuels can help to reduce carbon emissions significantly. Biofuels are produced directly or indirectly from organic material (called biomass) such as plant materials and animal waste. Some airlines that currently invest in and use renewable biofuels in their commercial flights include:
- Virgin Atlantic
- American Airlines
In addition to using biofuel on an aircraft, try flying on an “eco” or “green” flight where they efficiently make use of space and eliminate the use of single-use plastics.
Want to have a lower carbon footprint? Invest in a carbon offset program that will offset the fuel emitted during your travel. This will balance the footprint of your trip by reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases through tree planting, renewable energy or conservation.
Or, try more efficient modes of transportation such as by train or coach to cut down emission levels. While at your destination, consider travelling by bus, rail or renting a bike to get around town. If you’re looking to rent a vehicle, opt for electric, hybrid or a smaller model.
#3. Seek authentic experience off the beaten path
Popular tourist destinations, beaches and historic cities are often overrun by visitors due to its popularity. Often visiting these spots don’t live up to expectations, from long lines, large crowds and not exactly living up to what they imagined when seeing it online.
Instead of heading into tourist traps that appear on Instagram bucket list destinations, immerse yourself in a more unique and authentic experience - ask for recommendations from locals or other travellers, and visit smaller cities rather than major tourist centers. If you’re still insistent on visiting a major spot, schedule your trip during the off-season to avoid crowds.
#4. Support local
By supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs, it’s the best way to ensure your dollars circulate within the local economy and to immerse yourself in the culture. Go to local markets and shops stocked with local produce and goods. Find unique, handmade items at an artisan market. Dine at a local restaurant featuring traditional dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients. Stay at a locally-owned accommodation rather than an international chain of hotels. Book excursions with a local guide or learn a new skill from a local expert.
#5. Stay at an eco-friendly accommodation
Instead of choosing a large hotel chain, choose environmentally-friendly accomodation for low-impact travel. These properties may use less energy and water or have eco-friendly amenities including solar panels or smart lighting.
Be on the lookout for sustainable certifications such as those from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council which outlines minimum standards that a tourism business has to meet for approval, including:
- Protecting and sustaining natural and cultural resources
- Maximizing social and economic benefits for the local community
- Encouraging cultural heritage
Here’s a list of certifications to be on the lookout for and what they mean. And ask questions to see what practices they engage in that work to protect the environment.
Bonus tip: Pack natural materials
If you’re in a hot climate, natural materials are the best for keeping you cool. Choose your favorite staple pieces that transition morning to night, and can mix and match well to extend your wardrobe. Our favorite comfy and cute underwear for travelling? Our high-rise underwear is made with 100 percent organic cotton. If you’re washing on the go, clothing made with 100% natural materials has zero micro-plastic run-off, helping to keep your newfound travel destination clean and green.