When you travel to a beautiful new place, you become partly responsible for keeping it that way! Vacations and time abroad won’t always be so enjoyable unless we do all we can to help the environment thrive and flourish. Every little bit helps, and we all need to do our part. Although it may seem daunting at first, developing sustainable travel habits may not be as difficult as you think! Take a look at these simple tips or maintaining an environmentally friendly travel routine.
When You’re Packing
If you’re looking to become more sustainable in your everyday life, there are a good deal of options available. However, when it comes to eco-friendly travel, there are a few specific items you really can’t do without.
Minimize the amount of waste you generate by bringing your own water bottle, metal straw, and shopping bags. When it comes to storing food and snacks, opt for reusable plastic containers instead of plastic zip-lock bags. Also, using only organic hair and skin care products are a must if you’re at all concerned with preserving the natural environment both at home and abroad. New reef-safe sunscreens and organic shampoos are helping to keep harmful chemicals out of our oceans and waterways, while still letting you look your best.
Also keep in mind that the more you bring, the more you weigh. The more you weigh, the more fuel is required by your car, boat, and/or plane to get you where you’re going. So packing light will help you limit your personal carbon footprint.
When You’re Booking
There are plenty of brands out there actively donating profits to help the environment. The same is true for the travel industry. Even though it’s well-known that this industry contributes heavily to the earth’s high pollution levels, if you do your research you can find companies devoted to offsetting their environmental impact with sustainable, eco-friendly initiatives.
Worldwide hotel chain Hyatt has been dedicated tackling environmental issues since 2014. They’ve focused on installing environmentally friendly lighting and water fixtures, reducing food waste, and even updating their construction/renovation policies to ensure their hotels are built with sustainability in mind. In the realm of transportation, you have eco-conscious airlines like United that are working to reduce their carbon emissions while increasing fuel efficiency, and luxury cruise lines like Virgin Voyages incorporating new technologies to turn their waste and wastewater into clean energy and purified water. If you do some research, you can make sure you’re booking with companies that are aligned with your environmental ideals.
Before You Leave
Your carbon footprint doesn’t only follow you wherever you go, you’re also always leaving a little of it behind. When it comes to travelling, one of the most overlooked sources of unnecessary energy emissions is your own home.
Lights and electronics that remain plugged in are always using energy, even when they’re turned off. Getting in the habit of unplugging these items before you head out the door will help you save on both energy, and your monthly bills. Similarly, you can waste a ton of energy heating or cooling your home when you’re not there. Remember to turn down your thermostat to a minimal setting before you leave.
When You Get Back
Once you’ve become a devotee of eco-friendly travel, there’s only one other thing you need to do: tell everyone you know! Some people may feel a bit overwhelmed by all the changes necessary to lead a more sustainable life. They need to know that it’s actually achievable, and you can be the inspiration for them to make the change. People are more likely to believe the word of a person over a brand, so it’s up to us to spread the word on environmentally conscious travel and help change the world, one person at a time.