6 Easy Tips for Eco-Friendly Travel


best tips for sustainable travel

Many of our life’s best memories are made when we travel. The people we meet, the breathtaking views, crystal-clear waters, and scenic green trails make us wish we could travel year-round!

Traveling is SO good for the soul. When we cover ground in other parts of the world, we become more open to other cultures and ideas while relieving inner stresses. But travel has a dirty little secret that we tend to ignore. It’s that travel can be especially… dirty. And we’re not talking about the mud on your shoes from hiking up that long, slippery trail (go you!).

Traveling can be terrible for the planet from an environmental standpoint. But not to worry—you can still enjoy miracles the Earth has to offer while making as little impact possible. Simply put the following easy sustainable travel tips to use, and voila! Your trip just became as green as a leaf. Happy packing!

Choose Your Destination Carefully

Exactly where you set your sights may be the biggest factor in your wandering environmental footprint. If you’re able to travel relatively close and avoid air transit, trains and cars are more sustainable routes. Avoid cruises and mega-resorts, and be sure to skip places that are being harmed because of overtourism, like Angkor Wat, Machu Picchu, and more.

Pick a Sustainable Hotel

Besides being a more intimate, friendly setting, boutique and smaller hotels have another advantage—they’re typically more environmentally conscious. There are special certifications you can look for, such as Green Seal, Green Key Global, and EcoRooms & EcoSuites, but if you don’t find any, you can contact the hotel directly to ask about their sustainability practices. Plus, staying in a non-corporate hotel means you’re making a better impact on the local community! 

Alternative forms of housing, such as Airbnb, house swapping, or camping, can also shed a ton of weight off your carbon output.

Opt For Public Transportation

When you finally arrive, get to know your city or village. Research public transportation in the area, and if you can canvass the town easily by way of bicycle, do so. While a bus, taxi, or rental car will get you to your destinations, you’ll see the best views and finer details while you cycle along back roads and city streets.

Eat Local Cuisine

Experiencing tasty new food is one of the most enjoyable elements of travel. While you’re adventuring, pass up chain restaurants and dive headfirst into local fare—street carts, family-owned restaurants, and more. Ask the locals what their go-to eateries are, and feast away on cultural favorites.

Be mindful of your meat and dairy consumption along the way. Both are huge carbon offenders, and choosing more plant-based meals is a healthier and more sustainable route during your vacation.

Ditch Plastic

Instead of buying countless water bottles along the way, say no to plastic and bring a reusable bottle for coffee and water. Moreover, pack a few small reusable bags for shopping, grocery trips, laundry, and more. If tap water in other countries is a concern, consider using a Steripen, which easily fits into a backpack or purse and instantly makes water safe to drink.

Buy Quality Souvenirs

Souvenir shopping is at the forefront of nearly any travel list. But are the items you’re buying really necessary, or are they junky purchases that may end up in the trash or donation pile?

When you’re buying souvenirs for family and friends, invest in non-gimmicky item’s you’re certain they’ll love—and, make sure whatever you’re buying is not imported and is made locally. Some of the most beloved souvenir gifts are consumables like chocolate, oils, or spice mixes.

 

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