If you’re a traveller, chances are you also love the planet and have come to realize that it must be protected. For every glorious natural environment you visit, there’s always evidence of the destructive forces that we as humans wreak on the earth. Here are 7 tips to help you protect the planet even as you travel over it.
1) Pack your own bags.
Always pack your own reusable fabric bags when you travel. These can be used as storage for your belongings until you get to your accommodation and then used whenever you go shopping. In some countries it is already necessary to pay extra for the use of a plastic bag, so you will be saving yourself some money as well as saving the environment by shunning the plastic.
2) Reduce your weight.
When you travel, you can often cut costs by only packing hand luggage, or by taking the smallest amount of luggage possible. This is another money-saving tactic which is also environmentally friendly. The heavier a plane is, the more carbon emissions it produces while in flight. Since the cargo is calculated on an average per passenger, you will actively be making the plane lighter.
3) Eat and drink local.
Wherever you are in the world, try to eat and drink only local produce where possible. Each part of the world has its own specialities, which means you will get to enjoy a real culinary journey. It also cuts down on the trip that food has to take to get to your mouth.
4) Take public transport.
Rather than taking a taxi or hiring a car, go with public transport whenever you can. Just like at home, this is an important step to reducing your carbon footprint while abroad.
5) Be eco-conscious.
When in a hotel, many of us start acting in a different way to what we would at home. It’s still important to be eco-conscious in your accommodation. Turn off lights, A/C, and televisions when leaving your room, and don’t turn them on if they’re not needed. Remember only to get your towels replaced when you need them, too.
6) Use the power of your phone.
There are plenty of apps that you can use to help you reduce your impact on the environment. There are public transport apps to help you get the right train, apps to help you find local dining and markets, and even apps to help you to calculate your carbon footprint.
Just make sure that you are using the internet responsibly while abroad. Use a VPN to ensure that your connection is never compromised when you use public Wi-Fi.
7) Stay on the path.
Finally, stay on marked trails and paths when exploring the natural side of the area, and try to abide by any warning signs or notices. If you step off the path, you might be crushing endangered plants or insects. When you are warned not to remove a volcanic rock or a piece of coral, know that this is because the removal of such elements is steadily destroying the environment. Don’t disturb any plants or animals, and certainly remember to take all of your waste back to the hotel bins.
It is possible to be an eco-friendly traveller, even if you are flying multiple times per year. You just have to make sure that the way you conduct your life is carbon neutral or even offsets your carbon otherwise – that way, everything balances out. Protecting the earth means doing what’s right in the first place.