10 Things You Can Do To Travel More Sustainably
We love traveling and so do you. We also love the Earth, just like you and we’d like to do as much as possible to protect it while simultaneously doing what we love. So here are ten things that you can do to give back to our wonderful world, and become a more sustainable traveler.
First things first, how do you get to your location? Usually people prefer to take a plane because it’s faster and makes it easier to reach faraway places. It would be amazing to have a completely sustainable aircraft, but that is currently not an option. So, when you’re flying, make sure to book with companies that have a carbon offset program. Also, try flying non-stop because it’s actually the takeoff and landing that release the most amount of carbon. And if it is at all possible, try avoid flying and take a train or bus, you’ll be more sustainable and enjoy the scenery.
Staying at a nice luxury hotel is always the best part of vacation, but why not make sure that the hotel is both beautiful and sustainable. There are plenty of gorgeous, eco-friendly hotels all around the world. Just check out the Good Hotel, Pacaya Lodge & Spa, or Cempedak, three lovely eco hotels that will make it hard to leave again.
One of the biggest sources of waste and pollution in a hotel, stems from housekeeping. The cleaners come into your room daily, gathering towels and bedding to be washed. This is a tremendous waste of water and most importantly, the chemicals used to clean the room pollute the air and end up in our wastewater. One way you can do your part is to have housecleaning come every other day and hang your towels to dry for reuse.
This is an easy one to follow. When you leave the room, just make sure all of your lights and air-conditioning are turned off. Or turn off the heat and snuggle under the blankets! Also, when your electronics are sufficiently charged, make sure to unplug the chargers from the sockets. Plus there are great hotels that have used architecture to their sustainable advantage and have ensured that due to natural air ventilation air condition is not needed.
As water is vital to life on Earth, it’s really important that we try to conserve it in all ways possible. For example, take a shower on your vacation instead of a bath as baths require much more water. Or, even better, take a reusable, non-plastic, water bottle with you so you can easily fill it up at the start of the day and you’ll have no need to buy plastic bottles!
6. Being a Tourist
What better way to learn about the culture and history of the country your visiting then being shown around by a local tour guide. Make an effort and hire someone local, not only will you learn more fun facts but you will also contribute directly to the welfare of the place your staying at. If you have the chance to walk around, do so – not only is this a great chance to see the lovely location you are visiting but you are also avoid pollution through the use of cars. If walking isn’t your thing, then use a bicycle. Currently, a lot of hotels have easy access to bikes, so all you have to do is ask!
Who doesn’t love eating out, especially while on vacation? When you do, make sure you go to local restaurants or cafes that serve locally grown food. Not only are you helping the community, but you’re eating in season and experiencing a different culture.
Traveling isn’t always about relaxation and sight-seeing, sometimes you want to shop, and that’s okay. When shopping, try to buy products from local sources to support the community. It’s also a good idea to keep a reusable bag with you so you don’t have to take one from the store. If you don’t have any bags at that time, ask if they have paper first, instead of using plastic.
Some people really aren’t aware of the environment surrounding them, which is why they think it’s okay to make the world their trashcan. No, it isn’t your job to pick up after them, but it is our job — all of our jobs – to care for the Earth. So, when you go sightseeing, hiking or spend the day at the beach, take along a small bag and pick up any trash you might see along the way.
After visiting a community, why not give back by donating to local charities or businesses to keep them going and to help others. You don't necessarily need to donate money - think about how you can donate your time or supplies that are most valuable to the cause.
As you can see, we all have the power to do our part to protect the Earth and it’s so simple, so why not begin today?