Nowadays the media is filled with facts and figures on how we are destroying the planet. It’s overwhelming, it’s stressful and it’s constantly leaving me feeling confused.
I know we need to change. I know walking is better than driving, I know to turn off lights when I leave a room and to always have a re-useable coffee-cup handy. But surely that can’t be it? What more can I do? I decided I had to look into this, I had no choice. So here is what I learnt. Here are a few ways to make your travel more sustainable.
1. Before you leave.
Simply turn off and unplug all electrical appliances. It’s such a simple step but truly does make a difference in saving precious energy.
2. Pack less.
Try to pack less. Heavier planes and trains require more fuel so try to do your bit and lighten the load. There’s also the added benefit of not running the risk of having to pay extra for luggage. Bonus points if you’ve invested in a sustainable, light-weight suitcase instead of a new holiday wardrobe filled with fast-fashion for your next trip.
You know the deal here. Fill up small, reusable bottles with your regular products or treat yourself to an eco-friendly set. Stay away from the complimentary hotel toiletries, it’s just unnecessary plastic. If you already have mini-toiletries bought for your next trip that’s okay! It’s not a crime. Use up what you have and reuse the empty containers on your future travels.
Be picky. Realistically you probably don’t have all that much space in your suitcase to buying every little trinket you see. And realistically, you probably won’t keep every trinket you buy. Don’t rely on unsustainable, cheaply made bits on bobs to hold onto your memories. There’s nothing wrong with good old-fashioned photos and journal entries.
Taking two minutes out of your day to google the local recycling rules can make such a big impact. This is important when you’re at home too of course, but when you’re a visitor in a new place it’s even more key to be respectful!
Again, it’s a small change, but an effective one. Where possible opt for E-tickets over paper ones to help reduce waste. Every bit counts, right?
7. Single-use plastics.
Avoid them. At all costs. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but plastic is such a big offender in terms of pollution so I’m still going to include it in this post. Carrying your own reusable products is an easy swap.
8. Go veggie or vegan
If you’re travelling, chasing after a new experience, it’s the perfect time to give vegetarianism or veganism a go!
9. Means of travel
Explore your (eco-friendlier) options and expand your horizons. Go trekking, explore by boat, try inter-railing for the first time! If you can’t avoid flying, do a little research and find out which airlines are working toward lowering their emissions. There’s plenty of info on sustainable flying out there!
10. Do your detective work
Try to choose your destinations based on sustainability and look into if these places are actually as eco-friendly as they claim to be.
I once read that hotels pretend to be eco-friendly using notes encouraging guests to limit water use by reusing towels and take shorter showers, or simply use less paper towels to reduce waste. Lovely isn’t it?…. turns out it’s not. These notes you find in hotel bathrooms actually have nothing to do with sustainability, and everything to with saving money on housekeeping and products. Gets you thinking right?
Want to know more?
Turns out there’s so much info out there! The tips mentioned in this post is are just ten of my favorite, simple tips. If you’d like to learn more, here are some handy links I’d recommend:
- How to travel more sustainably in 2020
- An A to Z guide to not killing the planet when you travel
- 6 ways to fly more sustainably
What did you think of this post? Did I miss any of your best sustainable travel tips? Let us know in the comments below!