Sustainable travel tips
Do you love traveling? And want to learn more on sustainable traveling? In this blog post you will find 7 easy tips for you to get started travelling in a more sustainable way. I promise you can still sleep in a comfortable bed! There are several ways to minimize your negative impacts while you are travelling. Changing little things can already have a massive impact!
1. Different ways to get to your destination
Traveling by airplane is sometimes the only way to reach your destination, but one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is selecting an eco-friendly airline. Look for a carrier that uses sustainable aviation biofuel, like KLM for example, or fly direct when possible!
Another option is to take part in the ‘slow travel’ trend. That means you are visiting few places and spending more time in each location to fully enjoy it. Train travel is a great way to do this. It will also allow you to see much more of the environment.
And if you’re looking to book a cruise, there are economically efficient small ships available nowadays!
2. Support the real economy
During your travels you may come across some beautiful handmade crafts of which your partner may think are too expensive. BUT by purchasing them you support the economy directly and that gives a positive impact. Don’t be fooled by some sellers in touristy gift shops that will try to sell you ‘traditional’ (made in China) products. They may be cheaper, but the difference is not just in the price. Buying real products supports cultural heritage and it provides jobs for the locals.
3. Limit energy use and water
Although we all (or at least me) love long showers, especially after a muddy hike or sweaty day, but please try to avoid insanely long showers. The same goes for when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Oh and, do you really need a new towel every day? Ty to re-use it!
Or consider an eco-conscious accommodation renewable materials, solar panels, and they may even have a rainwater filtration system)? This is definitely a trend I’m noticing so why not be one of the first of your friends trying it out?
4. Use local ways of travelling
When arriving at your destination try not to hire a regular car immediately. Get to know the best way of travelling first by exploring your new environment. Are there are electrical options available (car, scooters)? Or perhaps you can rent city bikes or steps? Maybe you can even walk to get from A-to-B? Not only do you avoid excessive carbon emission and energy usage, but it’s also efficient. No more traffic jams! Besides that this way of travelling gives you an opportunity to admire your surroundings rather than driving past in a car.
5. Trade fast food for local eats
FOOD! I’m the kind of person that always gets hangry. And you don’t make me happy with fast food from commercial chains. And not just me, but also traditional restaurants would love for you to stop by and try their delicious local dishes! By eating fast food you don’t contribute to the local economy. Also, the excessive packaging, used by many fast foods, can be tricky to dispose in a country that is less familiar with recycling practices.
A great way to find cool local places is to just ASK around, haha. It’s as easy as that! Ask locals where you can find a traditional restaurant or farmer’s market to cook your owns stuff. Forget uncle Ronald (not only when travelling would be my advice haha) and try out that freshly made Italian pasta di Mama!
6. Never buy wildlife products
Spotting a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a real bear fur coat? Please say no! Don’t buy ivory, coral, fur or anything else that belongs to animals or our planet. It may look appealing to get a shark teeth or buy a real sneak purse to show you friends, but actually it’s just not cool…Just move away from those kind of sellers.
7. Avoid plastic
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling mass of human garbage in the ocean, will take forever to break down. Be a part of the solution! And try to use other options, like bringing your own eco-friendly products when you go travelling. I bring my own canvas bags and use my Flaskebottle, a reusable bottle of which the company donates 10% to The Ocean Cleanup. By having your own bottle, you will cut back on plastic waste and you reduce your carbon footprint used in manufacturing plastic bottles.
Spread the word!
I hope these tips helped you on your way to create a more sustainable trip. Personally, I learned a lot while researching this topic. Let’s start taking care of our surroundings and be kind to them! And the fact is, it’s actually not that hard to start. Speak up and spread the word to other people. Let’s try to keep this planet a beautiful place to live on for you and many generations to come.