Top Tips for an Earth-Friendly Travel
Travelling is rich in adventure, fun, and discovery. To make your travels even more meaningful, you can be an advocate of more sustainable efforts that help in sustaining instead of destroying the planet. Here are the top tips of how you can be more Earth-friendly during your travels:
Bring an eco-bag
Travels are almost incomplete without buying souvenirs and bringing them home. For this reason and more, traveling is linked to the usage of plastic bags. For a long time, plastic bags have been convenient to use and cheap to manufacture. In fact, around 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. Unfortunately for the Earth, these bags take long to biodegrade. Eco-friendly bags are a great way to reduce the use of these bags while protecting the planet. Eco-friendly bags help show your support for the environment. They are also more durable and comfortable to carry compared to their plastic counterpart.
Although plastic bags can be recycled, the process can be expensive. After ample recycling, plastic products still end up being a non-biodegradable waste that will stay on the surface of the Earth for more than 1,000 years. Bags that don’t make it to the recycling plant and landfill put marine animals at risk of ingesting them while also causing pollution around. It is indeed better to quit the use of plastic bags as often as possible. By reducing the usage of plastic and investing in an eco-friendly bag, you’re contributing to less fossil fuel use, saving the waters, and supporting the Earth and its future inhabitants.
Also, many cities and countries have been taking strides in discouraging the use of plastic bags through taxation, which sellers pass on to buyers. By switching to the eco-friendly option, you are saving some money, and the planet too.
Packing efficiently for a flight helps reduce the aircraft’s carbon emissions. The more a plane weighs, the higher the carbon emissions and the higher the negative effects are for the planet. By packing lighter you’re helping make things easier for Mother Earth.
Pack more efficiently by stuffing your luggage with less but more multipurpose clothes. Using gadgets that serve many purposes in one, will also save you from bringing more stuff. Getting an electronic version of the books you plan to read on your trip instead of taking the hard copies with you will lessen your load too. Remember, the lighter the aircraft, the less fuel it burns.
By curbing your load, you make room for more fun. Firstly, all your essentials are easier to access when there’s less clutter. Secondly, more room in your bag means a bigger space for treasures, such as souvenirs. Thirdly, a lighter load helps you become more portable. It’s easier to go to places when you have less stuff to carry. Not only that, packing less saves you waiting time at the luggage carousel. Another reason to pack lighter is, you won’t be seen as an obvious target for pickpocketing and scams. Having a lot of luggage reflects the tourist that you are. The instances of theft and inflation on prices tend to double for tourists.
Bring a reusable straw
Annually, 300 million tons of plastic are produced around the world. Single-use plastic, such as plastic straw, account for half of this. Unfortunately, reusing plastic straws is not sanitary because it tends to lead to harmful bacteria and germs build-up. On the contrary, bamboo drinking straws, a way greener alternative, can last a lifetime when properly cleaned and cared for. These greener options of straws are natural, biodegradable, antibacterial, and chemical-free. What’s even better is that bamboo helps absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produces 35% more oxygen compared to trees.
Bamboo straws can be used for a wide range of beverages such as hot and cold drinks. You can use bamboo straws for milk teas and smoothies so make sure you choose the right diameter and length for your straw. Make sure you purchase a cleaning brush too for a perfectly clean straw. Naturally, bamboos have antibacterial properties that make it less resistant to rotting or bacteria build-up. What a perfect alternative to the plastic straw brought to you by nature!
To keep your bamboo straw as natural as possible, refrain from dyed variants because the dye can be toxic to both your health and the environment.
Bring your own water bottle
Hydrating is one of the simplest ways to take care of your health, especially when traveling. Instead of buying bottled water aplenty, making sure you have your own reusable container is both inexpensive and convenient. After all, most public facilities have water fountains where you can refill from.
Plastic bottles can be recycled. Although this is the best way to manage waste, this is not enough to solve the growing problems with plastic. During recycling, plastic is downcycled into a new product that is inferior in quality. Still plastic, nevertheless and the process to downcycle is not cheap.
To prevent this altogether, bringing your own water bottle is the most Earth-friendly way to deal with your thirst. For utmost safety, make sure your bottle is BPA or lead-free.
Use an eco-friendly sunblock
The use of sunblock protects your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Unfortunately, studies found that most sunblocks are harmful to the environment. Sunscreens that contain microplastics and nanoplastics as well as the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate increase coral bleaching. Microplastics and nanoplastics are used to unite and hold together the ingredients in sunscreen. It also forms a thin coating on the skin and adds a waterproof property to it. Oxybenzone, on the other hand, provides UV coverage and are also found in nail polishes, fragrances, hair sprays, and cosmetic products. These products make sunscreens damaging by causing deformities that lead to coral larvae encasing itself in its own skeleton. Its own coffin, so to speak.
Nowadays, sunscreens that are reef-friendly are getting easier to find. Rub-in sunscreens that make use of active ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide prove to be the best. To make sure you protect yourself while also protecting reefs and its inhabitants, make sure you read the label first and opt for eco-friendly options.
Stay at eco-friendly hotels and resorts
Eco-friendly hotels and resorts are environmentally responsible lodging that follows the practices of green living. These are accommodations that have made important environmental improvements to its structure, which includes, non-toxic housekeeping practices, the use of renewable energy, the usage of organic toiletries, energy-efficient appliances, and recycling programs. They use electricity responsibly, reduce the amount of water they waste and promote cleanup activities. Hotels that help the environment through energy-efficient practices get to be LEED-certified.
To check if hotels are Earth-friendly, make sure to check their website for indications that describe responsible traveling, good stewards, and their LEED certification. Different countries have different certifications for accommodations that watch the Earth. Australia has EarthCheck, the Caribbean has Green Globe and Rainforest Alliance, while the UK has Greet Tourism Business Scheme.
Walk, ride a bike or take public transport
The usage of public transport is a great way to travel while also reducing carbon emissions. Utilizing mass transportation helps you with traveling as locals do while saving gas and money in the process. If your destination is just minutes of walk away, walking is an efficient way to go around while getting fit. Walking paves the way to a more intimate way of getting to know a city or town.
Some areas encourage transportation by bike. This is a fun and healthy way to go around too. For destinations that are farther away, sharing a ride through phone apps is an optimal solution to travel while saving money and keeping green. Any option that reduces the amount of fuel per passenger without sacrificing safety, is indeed a fantastic way to go around. Happy travels!
Get a better glimpse of the local culture by supporting the livelihood of the residents. Appreciating their food, listening to their music, and exploring their culture is a great way to understand their way of life while helping them preserve their culture. Dine at a locally-owned restaurant that serves traditional cuisine, drink locally crafted yet world-class beer, and rent locally owned lodges if you see fit. Immersing yourself in their culture is a great way to grow during your travel.
Don’t buy bottled water
What you drink in a few minutes will remain on Earth for thousands of years. The plastic bottle that contains the water that you buy takes up a lot of resources to manufacture, fill, and transport. For every bottle, the carbon footprint is high. When you buy a bottle of water, what you’re actually buying is the plastic that contains it and the process involved in between. To save the Earth from further non-biodegradables, using your lead-free reusable container is key.
Buy local souvenirs
Buying souvenirs is a great way to remember your travel. For an Earth-supportive souvenir, buying locally made products is a great option. These items have less carbon footprint compared to their international counterparts which could’ve been shipped or flown somewhere else. Choosing products that were handmade by locals and created by their artists is a great way to also preserve their culture. Veer away from buying products that are of endangered plants and animals as this may totally halt the existence of these species.
Searching for the best eco-friendly hotels, resorts, and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.