We all love to travel, today’s post will be looking at sustainable traveling. Discovering and experiencing new places and cultures is something beautiful. You simply cannot go somewhere new and just stay at home or in your room.
Every country/city has something very unique to offer so when you travel there, try as much as you can not to ruin things so that it can last longer. I know that’s a pretty harsh word but many places are ruined by tourists; not on purpose though.
We just need to raise more awareness regarding being sustainable when you travel. You want to leave the place untouched and, if possible, better than what it was before.
Here are 10 tips for sustainable travel:
If you can avoid taking a plane all together, please do so. Opt for the train, bus or ship, but if you really have to use a plane, book non-stop flights and you could fly with one of the many IATA member airlines who are involved in a carbon offset project, doing something to make up for the carbon emission caused by airplanes. Also, you could invest in a carbon reduction project yourself.
Once you get to your destination, rent bikes to get from point A to point B as opposed to renting a car or getting taxis.
When you’re using sunscreen (or any products to protect your skin) make sure you’re also protecting the environment. Many sunscreens have the ingredient ‘oxybenzone’ that harms corals, fish, larvae and other marine life and might even cause skin irritiation. Instead go for sunscreen with chemicals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Even though you want to try all the local food, try avoiding places that are overly packaged with plastic.
Carry your own large water bottle and refill it whenever possible. Try not to depend on the small plastic disposable water bottles because you’ll end up buying and throwing away so many.
Invest in reusable bags for shopping or smaller ones for snacking. You can also get a reusable utensil kit that includes a spoon, fork, steel straw, and towelette instead of using and trashing plastic ones.
Make use of your phone/tablet and download all the maps, tickets and pamphlets you need as opposed to all the paper ones that you’ll end up throwing away. Going digital will save you a lot of extra luggage too.
Be nice to all the wildlife you encounter. If they’re outside in nature, respect them. Also, many of the animals in circuses or any shows are highly mistreated so don’t contribute to that. In addition, avoid wildlife products or souvenirs, many of them are gotten at the cost of animal life.
Pack your own toiletries in your reusable containers beforehand. Many hotels/resorts offer complimentary ones and as much as anything free is enticing, you want to avoid things in plastic.
Don’t leave your electronics charging/plugged in throughout the day while you’re outside having fun. Try unplugging them, turning off any lights, and maybe even the AC when you’re not in the room. This saves a lot of energy.
Don’t litter. Very simple. Some places in the world might look like it’s ok to litter since everyone else is but it is NEVER. Which also means don’t leave behind anything you brought with you that might harm the environment (ex. Batteries, plastic bottles, etc).
In general, you want to leave the place as it was or better. Try not to generate more trash. If you find yourself with plastic products, do some research and try to recycle them correctly.
This is an extra tip for your reading pleasure, last but not the least, please protect the local culture. Respect the local customs, the language, atttempt the food, get to know the people and support their local economy as mush as you can.
Don’t look at these tips as a burden. They will actually help you travel lightly and help save some money.. and most importantly, help save the planet.
Happy green traveling!
This post was contributed by Rana Emad