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A Guide to Becoming an Eco-Traveller
Experience the Wonders of Nature with Sustainable and Responsible Eco-Travel
Guest blog by Erin Lorde.
As people become increasingly concerned about sustainability, many individuals are choosing to live more eco-friendly lives.
An eco-friendly holiday is a journey that has minimal impact on the environment. It can include anything from packing light to exploring in a way that doesn’t disturb wildlife or local communities.
We have some great tips and advice on making sure your carbon footprint is as small as possible. From the most eco-friendly things to pack to the best ways to get around, our guide will help you minimise your environmental impact while you travel to become that eco-traveller.
Getting There and Around
If you travel by plane, train, or car and would like to offset your emissions of greenhouse gases, consider buying credits that go toward a project that avoids the release of more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (and helps mitigate climate change). Keep in mind, however, that offsets may vary greatly in quality and are not regulated by the government. Research is key – there are several offset registry check and rate programs, such as carbon-neutral Britain.
Once you’re on the ground, think about whether there’s a more environmentally friendly way to enjoy the city:
1. Consider taking a bike or walking tour.
2. If you’re boating, take a sailboat rather than an engine-driven model.
3. If you’re renting a car, choose an electric model or the smallest one that will suit your family.
4. If possible, take public transit. You can meet local people and learn about the area this way.
5. Coach holidays are fun, affordable, stress-free, and reduce the pollution caused by traditional travel.
6. Try hiking, cycling or any other group activity. A fun day in the great outdoors can be an enjoyable way to decrease your carbon footprint as well as experience nature’s glory. You might find that your favourite pastime has been re-envisioned elsewhere.
Travellers who are environmentally-friendly know that the best way to respect other cultures is by participating in local customs and activities, not just watching from a distance. Fill your bucket list with things that have less impact on nature but will still give you an unforgettable experience!
Remember that you’re a guest in another country, so try to dine and shop at local businesses rather than big corporations. This will help promote the cultural heritage of your host nation. Tourism and travel can have both benefits and adverse effects on the environment. When you choose to visit places that have been sustainably developed and support local businesses, you’re engaging in ethical tourism.
Packing Tips and Products
To make sure your trip is as environmentally friendly as possible, consider what you're packing into your suitcase. As we become more aware of single-use plastics' impact on our planet, it's easier than ever to travel without contributing to that problem and feel good about doing so.
So, what can you pack to reduce your carbon footprint while travelling? Here are some top products:
1. Taking along a small container like a lunchbox for snacks can help reduce your plastic consumption, as can reusable cutlery. If you’re short on space, even taking just one item can help reduce your footprint
2. Plastic straws have decreased in recent years with the rise of eco-friendly alternatives and bans on their use. Unfortunately, the travel industry is behind on these changes. So, to reduce waste, bringing a reusable straw will be better for you than relying on what's available at restaurants and bars
3. In place of bulky toiletries, consider using soap bars and shampoo bars. They're more space-saving and they reduce plastic waste; they're also made with natural ingredients which means they’re gentler on your hair/scalp! Why use anything else?
4. Think about switching from tampons and pads to cups. Unlike conventional sanitary products, which are often made of plastic and other synthetic materials that pollute the environment when discarded, menstrual cups can be reused for years and save you money. Or, you could try other sustainable period products like reusable panty liners.
5. Take a pegless clothesline to hang up on your balcony or in the bathroom for small laundry loads and delicate items
6. Many people prefer e-readers like Kindles or iPads to physical books, because they can carry an entire library in one lightweight device
7. Tote bags: pack a cloth tote for extra souvenirs. When out shopping you’ll find yourself minimising plastic bag waste if you always have one on hand
8. Reusable cloth napkins mean less rubbish every time you eat. Just pop them in with the laundry when they get dirty
9. It's important to use a reef-safe sunscreen. Many sunscreens contain oxybenzone, which is toxic to reefs' symbiotic algae
10. Soaps: consider bringing along an all-purpose biodegradable soap which can be used to wash your body and hair, clothes, dishes… anything.
And there you have it: our top ways to pack and travel eco-consciously.
We hope that the ideas, products, and space-saving tips we've shared will help you to make your next trip better for the environment and inspire you to do more on future journeys. It's important to remember that every little bit counts.
By making small changes when travelling, you can become an eco-friendly traveller.