Traveling eco friendly does not have to be difficult or mean that you need to sacrifice. Here are some very easy tips to adapt to your everyday choices when you travel or at home. Here are 10 easy ways to travel environmental friendly.
1. Always have your own reusable water bottle with you
You don’t have to buy water in plastic bottles but can refill from the tap if it’s safe, or refill at hotels, hostels or restaurants etc. that hade big water refill stations. If the tap water isn’t good to drink you can either use a water filter straw, water purifier pills/powder, use some other type of water filtration/purifier or boil the water before.
2. Don’t accept plastic bags at stores or markets
Either bring a backpack with left over space for whatever you’re buying, or make sure you always have a tote bag with you. Need to buy fruit or veggies? Take them as they are – you’ll wash them before easting anyways so it doesn’t need to be kept in a one use plastic bag. If you want to buy bulk you can bring small bags or other sort of containers for that too. It’s really not hard at all once you get used to refusing plastic bags.
3. Use public transportation instead of taxi’s and uber’s
I understand it might be comfortable and tempting to take a taxi to your accommodation when arriving in a new destination. But it’s better for the environment, the traffic and your wallet to use the public transportation already in system. This goes for going to different tourists spots you want to go to too. If you can walk, bike or take the public transportation system, you’re doing everyone a favour. Except for maybe the taxi drivers….
4. Get a spork
Or other utensils in aluminium, wood or just regular ones. The amount of plastic one time use utensils that are used is absolutely insane! With takeaway, street food or ice cream you usually get a little plastic fork or spoon that is used for a couple of minutes and then thrown in the trash. A spork is light and works as both fork and spoon and you can buy yoghurt or soups in a grocery store and eat it even when traveling and need some sort of utensil.
5. Travel longer and more rare instead of often and short trips
At least if you travel by plane. Airplanes contribute to an insane amount if CO2 that hurts the climate. The fewer the plane rides the better. And if it’s to a destination not too far away where there’s an option to take a train or bus instead – look at doing that. If it’s a long way, maybe do some stopovers and you get to see more places that you would’ve missed if you just flew past it.
6. Only buy souvenirs from the places that make them
Local artistry is not only a lot cooler and more genuine, but it supports the local artists and community and you won’t have to support the low quality-unoriginal souvenirs made in ex. China that you can find all over the world. The products won’t need to me imported and it helps artisans keep doing their crafts.
7. Say no to straws
The amount of plastic straws being used once and then ends up in land fills or in nature is heart breaking. Do you really need a straw? If you love using straws, you can get reusable straws in steal or bamboo that you bring with you and then easily clean with a straw cleaning brush. Also, making the statement to a shop that you don’t want a plastic straw might make them reevaluate them giving it with drinks without asking, or maybe even start with biodegradable straws in paper or bamboo. Just try to remember to ask when you order the drink as it’s common for restaurants and bars to give straws without asking.
8. Pick up trash
Help the community you’re visiting by picking up the trash you might see on the ground. Or perhaps do a project of a beach cleanup with other tourists in the area to give back. Even though tourists may not always be the one’s littering, it’s the least we can to for the communities welcoming us as guests.
9. Avoid food waste by offering to other’s at your hostel when you cook too much
Or travel with a meal box you can save your left-overs for the next day. But offering other people food is a nice gesture, is a good way to make new friends. Maybe if you’re staying several nights, chose one day each to make food for each other. Or just become a pro at measuring pasta for just one or two(impossible but you can always try)
10. Recycle where it’s possible
If your accommodation doesn’t have a recycling station, ask if they know where one is or ask yourself. And remember to try to avoid plastic as much as you can, as it’s rarely recycled and doesn’t biodegrade.