“Giving readers a unique insight into sustainable and healthy travel.” This quote is a snippet from my website’s mission statement and today I want to tackle it head on. Today we’re going to be talking about sustainable travel.
For most people, travelling sustainably is the last thing on their mind when booking a trip. Most people are far more concerned with getting the lowest airfare and the nicest hotels; and that’s perfectly understandable! Travelling sustainably is not something that’s talked about very often, but the truth is it’s not that difficult. All it takes is a few simple choices in order to lessen your impact on the destination you’re travelling to, as well as the planet as a whole.
Today I’ve gathered a few of these small tweaks to help you make your next trip as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible!
Did you know as much as 10 percent of the electricity used in your home is wasted energy? This wasted energy is a product of adaptors, chargers, computers, and other appliances that we leave plugged in even when they’re not in use. Before you head out on your next trip be sure to unplug any appliance that won’ be in use while you’re gone.
- Book non-stop flights
Not only do non-stop flights make for a faster and smoother travel experience, they help the environment since the takeoff and landing of a plane is what creates the most carbon emissions.
- Go paperless
I’ll be the first to admit that I love printing my airline tickets to keep a hardcopy for my souvenirs, however by downloading an e-ticket rather than printing your ticket, you’ll save paper, waste, and money.
- Skip the cab
When you get to your destination, don’t take a cab everywhere. Utilize public transportation or walk. I always find walking to be the best way to explore a new city anyway, and by ditching the cab you’ll save a ton of money and avoid possible tourist scams.
- Take a refillable water bottle
By taking your own refillable water bottle you’ll be reducing the amount of plastic waste you’re producing and saving yourself a lot of money, especially in places like Europe where water is not free. Just bring your refillable water bottle along and fill it up whenever you want. (Just be sure to check that countries water quality standards beforehand.)
- Reuse your towels
Many hotels have now incorporated a green initiative in order to reduce their water usage by asking guests to signal them when they need or don’t need fresh towels. Usually leaving your towels on the floor means you’d like them replaced, or some hotels even have a card you can put on the door. (The same goes for sheet linens.) Be sure to only have your sheets or linens changed when you actually need to.
- Avoid using hotel laundry
Not only is this going to save you a small fortune, it’s going to save a ton of water as hotels usually wash each guests clothing separately, regardless of how many items they’re washing.
- Buy local
It’s more important now than ever to choose carefully where you spend your money, especially when travelling. Purchasing food and souvenirs from local craftspeople and farmers not only helps to support local communities and families, but drastically reduces waste and emissions produced by the transportation of goods. You’ll also be getting an authentic souvenir when you buy local, as opposed to something that was created in a factory assembly line and imported.
- Do not participate in wild life activities
Seriously it’s 2016. Skip the zoos, aquariums, circuses, etc. And do not participate in any tours that promise hands-on encounters with wildlife, this includes things such as riding elephants, swimming with dolphins, playing with tigers, etc. By doing this you’re supporting an industry that illegally and unethically captures and tortures millions of wild animals each year.
- Look for Eco-Tour companies
When researching tour companies at your destination, look for those that have a membership with the International Ecotourism Society. These tour companies are usually more conscious of their impact on the environment and try to conduct themselves in a more sustainable manner.
- Preserve the coral reef
When snorkeling, scuba diving, or even just swimming in the ocean, be sure to be careful not to step on the coral reef. As soon as you step on coral reef it will die, impacting the reef’s fragile ecosystem.