While there's no way we're about to say "no thanks" to a freshly cracked coconut on white sandy beach, we're truly drawn to travel for something more - the journey, and the appreciation for the diversity and beauty of our planet. Seeking out such adventures a path to self-discovery, and opens us up to a true appreciation for the world around us.
However, when off on such amazing adventures we are about of our normal routines, and it can be a real challenge to maintain ethical and ecofriendly habits on the road. If you want to take the ecofriendly habits you've built up at home with you, we're here to help with 10 sustainable travel tips for your next vacation.
1. Pack Light.
Less bags = Less fuel used in transport, and less of a tendency to purchase wasteful souvenirs and indulge in fast fashion impulse buys. Packing light keeps things simple, and is an easy way to stay sustainable on the go.
2. Find Eco-friendly lodging.
Hotels have a big environmental impact. From water usage and food waste to tons of laundry detergents, bleach, and other cleaning products - hotels have a big impact on the environment. Try to stay in ecofriendly lodging like an eco resort, a smart home, or an Air BNB.
3. Fly Carbon Neutral.
Some airlines now offer the option to fly carbon neutral. You'll pay a little more, but the money will go to offsetting the carbon footprint of your air travel by contributing to environmental initiatives focused on energy efficiency, renewable technologies, reforestation, and the preservation of old-growth forests.
4. Support local & Organic venues.
When you're in a new palace, explore what it has to offer by visiting the unique local attractions rather than giving your dollars to commercial name brands. This supports the local economy and small farmers who care for the lands of the local region.
5. Bring a water bottle.
This habit may be second nature at home, but many people forget to bring a reusable bottle abroad. Even if you can't bring it on the place due to liquid restrictions, you can back your water bottle in your bag and carry it on to use once you've arrived.
Skip the plastic bottles and carry a bottle you can reuse and refill throughout your trip.
6. Carry re-usable bags.
Being on vacation typically means shopping. So whether it's just for some trip essentials or a full blown shopping spree, having a few reusable bags makes the difference between a sustainable shopping run and one that contributes to pollution.
7. Choose your tours and tour guides carefully
Make sure you look into the tours your take, where the money goes, and if there is transparency about the ethics of the people and places involved in the excursion. Try to look for sustainable tours that allow you to tread lightly and respectfully as you visit amazing places.
8. BYO Toiletries
No matter where you travel, you can minimize your environmental impact by bringing your own toiletries. This saves on all the waste from those tiny travel sized shampoos, toothpastes, hair sprays,etc. Considering having your small own reusable product containers designated for traveling.
9. Purchase Souvenirs Responsibly.
Everyone loves to bring something home from their trip to remember it by, but do you really want to bring home the same mass-produced souvenirs everyone else does? Instead of binge-shopping on cheap (and usually unethically produced) trinkets, consider investing in some local or sustainable artisans in the area. You'll find quality creations that will last, and really speak to the soul of a place much more than a colorful shot glass or a beach towel.
Also remember never to purchase ANY souvenirs that exploit the environment in any way. Souvenir shops selling live animals or stuffed animals or animal skins, horns, claws, furs, shells, or other parts should never be supported as many of these places are involved in animal cruelty, exploitation, and the illegal wildlife trade.
If you like the idea of making a difference (which you probably do since you're reading this) think about volunteering while traveling. There are so many opportunities to volunteer all over the world. You could spend a week cleaning up a polluted river in India, a month helping out at a wildlife sanctuary in Africa, or a few weeks re-planting trees in the amazon rain forest.
Volunteering with a good, reputable organization can be a great way to travel and have adventures while also having a positive impact on sustainability and our world.
And there you have it - 10 ways you can travel more mindfully and more sustainably on your next trip. Can you think of any other tips? Leave a comment and let us know.
Comments will be approved before showing up.