We have become an incredibly connected world, with few obstacles to venture into practically any nook and cranny of the globe that eagerly awaits our curious feet. You’re basically just a flight away from an exotic island, or a ride away from a stunning mountain resort with a nearby museum as an homage to the natives of the land and their cultural heritage. We use travel to learn, love, and remember one another and all of our planet’s wealth.
But what about the impact we have during those trips? Sadly, travel is often a very pollution-heavy venture, and it’s up to us to adapt to reduce our carbon footprint. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that while you explore the world.
Travel where it counts
Some of the most beautiful places of our world are the ones that need our help the most, as the overwhelming attention they’ve earned has caused them to be drowning in plastic as well as other forms of waste, their ecosystems in jeopardy, and their local heritage ruined. Thankfully, there are many organizations that work to repair such scenarios, and you can set aside those vacation days to do just that: make a difference.
Join a volunteer organization where you can find meaningful work to help clean the environment. From river-cleaning initiatives all the way to animal rescue operations, make your travels count. You’ll enrich your life with a travel experience unlike any other, and you’ll help preserve our planet.
Choose what you put in your bags
Every traveler’s checklist spells out similar must-have items. From hygiene supplies, skincare essentials, all the way to that minimalist wardrobe picks, you once again have the opportunity to pack your bags in a smart and sustainable way.
For example, find brands that produce sustainable, natural items to keep your skin healthy, such as a jojoba-made face serum to prevent any skin damage and keep your pores pure. Add to that, choose reef-friendly sunscreens that will not just prevent sun damage, but that will also not cause any harm to the local marine life. And of course, whenever you can, opt for non-toxic, cruelty-free products that will not add to the toxic waste in our environment.
Find alternatives to flying
It’s simple, often affordable, and it’s the quickest way from point A to point B, but it also has its own perils for our planet. We’re talking about flying, our absolute favorite way to explore the world. Unfortunately, it’s also the most damaging one to the environment.
Whenever you can, opt for less taxing trips for Mother Nature, such as taking a train, a bus, hiking, or sharing a car ride to your destination. Of course, whenever you can, look for more sustainable cars that have a lower carbon footprint. If you can, use a bicycle to move around your destination instead of taking the car, and walk whenever the destination lets you!
Say goodbye to plastic and single-use items
From plastic bottles, wet wipes, all the way to exfoliators with plastic beads in them, our lives are completely drenched in plastic. How you pack your bags and how you behave during your travels can drastically decrease your use of plastic.
For starters, use insulated water bottles often made of steel instead of the single-use plastic ones. Visit coffee shops and other eateries that say no to plastic straws. Whenever you travel, bring your own reusable bags instead of taking the plastic ones from the shop, and you’ll also make a huge difference. Not only will you set an example, but you’ll also prevent that accumulated effect of waste that can be traced to a single person and measured in kilograms.
Find green accommodation options
Thanks to so many green initiatives around the world, and people who are switching to a more sustainable way of life, the hotel industry has responded by increasing the number of accommodation options that are based on sustainability, energy-efficiency, and organic materials in their use.
In addition to environmental actions, you can choose your next destination based on the accommodation you can find that resonates with these values. Look for green certifications, as well as reviews that confirm the use of sustainable solutions such as solar energy, reduction of plastic, implementation of eco-friendly cooking practices (such as using local and seasonal produce only), and the like.
One trip at a time, you can certainly change the way you impact the world around you. Use your trips to send a more sustainable message and become a role model for anyone in your vicinity to show them that this is the only way we can travel if we wish to protect the diversity and wellbeing of our world.
About the author:
Fiona is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She’s in love with good coffee, croissants, and fashion magazines. In her spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world. You can read more from her on her blog High Style Life.