6 Simple Steps For Becoming A More Eco-Friendly Traveler

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Bianca Caruana / March 2016

We leave footprints wherever we go, but the kind of footprint we leave can be determined by the choices we make. Here are 6 simple steps that you can take to reduce your footprint when you travel, while also experiencing all the wonderful places this world has to offer.


 

Take a reusable water bottle
We all know that one extra plastic water bottle is one extra footprint in the world. With the recent studies showing that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish the last thing we need is more plastic in our lives. By taking a reusable water bottle on your travels you are reducing the number of plastic bottles you buy, and potentially saving yourself a lot of money as well. Many places throughout the world now offer water refill stations, and slowly more and more hotels are adopting this practice. You might not find them everywhere but it’s worth a try.

Don’t get your room serviced daily
When we are at home we never change our sheets daily and if we do there may be a case of some serious OCD. We don’t wash our towels every day, nor do we clean our room every day, so what’s the difference when travelling? Having new sheets and towels every day means that every day these need to be washed, and the hotel needs to use an excessive amount of water and power in order to do so. Some hotels have adopted the practice of servicing the room every 3 days. If they haven’t why not let the staff know you’re happy for a clean once every three days and in doing so you’ll be reducing your footprint significantly.

Opt for a fan over air-conditioning
Let’s face it, air-conditioning is a luxury of the 21sy century. For years we survived without it, most countries still survive without it. You can cool down with a simple fan or a light breeze, we don’t always need our room to feel like we’ve stepped into a refrigerator. By opting for a fan room instead of air conditioning you are saving a huge amount of electricity, leaving a much smaller carbon footprint.

Eat locally sourced food
In the western world we’ve adjusted to being surrounded by the type of food we want when we want. We get winter fruits in the summer and summer fruits in the winter. In doing so food has to travel overseas or interstate, resulting in increased carbon emissions. If you are travelling to a country eat the local food. It gives you a feel for the culture and often tastes much nicer and fresher.

Walk or ride a bicycle
Some cities in the world are best seen by bicycle or taking the time to stroll through the city streets. We are used to public transport in the fast-paced cities we live in, but when we travel there is no need to rush. A little exercise can do us well, and we are also reducing the harmful gases that will emit into the atmosphere. When’s the last time you rode a bicycle? It’s more therapeutic than you remember.

Choose fruit snacks over packaged snacks
Everybody loves snacking. Long bus and train rides overland mean stocking up on a whole bunch of enticing snacks for the journey. However many of the snacks available to us will most likely result in waste that cannot be recycled. For a greener choice switch one of those deliciously unhealthy snacks to a piece of fruit instead. Something that’s compostable and won’t end up in the landfill, or environment, of the places you visit.

The small choices we make on our travels can make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. What green choices do you make when you travel? Have we missed any? Let us know.

Tags: Eco, Ecotourism, responsible travel

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  • DrifterHannah // March 24, 2016

    Thanks for these tips! I absolutely agree – especially on the fan, as air con gives me a sore throat. The only issue I have, living in a 3rd world country, is that bottled water is often the only available option. We do have a filter at home though, that helps us reduce need for bottled water! Nice post!

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