Incorporating an eco-friendly ethos into travel plans is the best way to protect the planet and our future. It is an easy goal to achieve and the benefits are undeniable, so everyone should get on board and start making the small but necessary changes. The following guide focuses on how to travel with the environment in mind, so read on for tips and tricks.
Plan Your Transport Methods
Air travel, train travel, and even boat travel are all harmful to the world owing to pollution and other factors. Though some are better than others, for example, boats over planes, there are better ways to travel if you plan ahead. Traveling across the country, or even abroad, can and should be done by using an electric vehicle. Not only will it enable a significant saving when it comes to spending, but it is also undeniably more sustainable than alternate options.
If going abroad, consider hiring an electric vehicle or taking one on a ferry crossing to keep the journey eco-friendly. For more information about EVs, this electric car guide from LV ElectriX has all the necessary, core information in an easy-to-read format. LV insurance company has compiled a super helpful website and put all things EV in one place for anyone to read up on and gain inspiration.
Find Sustainable Destination Countries to Visit
What is meant by a sustainable destination? Well, there are multiple factors to consider. Try to focus your travel on countries that observe and actively consider the environment and their global carbon footprint. A list of countries that fall well into this category is:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
These ten countries have been repeatedly named, noticed, and heralded for their efforts toward improving the global environmental initiative. They have eco-friendly policies and country-wide observations in place for tourists to get on board as they travel around.
Travel with Limited Plastic
If you don’t already know, then now is the time to learn – plastic is not your friend! Plastic is a leading cause of world pollution levels, it hangs around forever and a lot of products are single use which is massively and unnecessarily wasteful. If you are traveling, move away from plastic-based products and replace them instead with eco-friendly alternatives. Read on below for some prime examples to try out.
Don’t Use Bottled Water
Plastic water bottles are wasteful. They can also be infiltrated by plastic chemicals, which can affect health as well. Reusable water bottles are smart, cheap, and reliable. There are always places to fill up water and there’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t take more than one along with your journey.
Toothbrush and Toiletries
Make the switch to bamboo toothbrushes and ditch the plastic ones. Bamboo teeth brushing instruments are ten times more sustainable than their plastic counterparts and they do not negatively impact the environment when disposed of. Similarly, instead of using the single-use toiletry bottles provided in hotels and hostels, take reusable containers with you and refill them as and when needed. Plenty of retailers now support reusable containers and there are even discount incentives to be found for being a part of sustainable practices.
Cloth Shopping Bag
One-time carrier bags are the bane of the earth. Many countries have banned them or charge extra to provide them in an effort to deter people from using them. The better alternative is cloth bags or reusable shopping containers. Take these with you on holiday to avoid the temptation of adding to the worldwide plastic burden.
Observe Local Waste and Recycling Rules
The personal carbon footprint that you leave as you travel has consequences. Observe local legislation and practices around waste management. This includes how people are expected to recycle, and dispose of their rubbish. It does vary between countries, and it is absolutely worth brushing up on knowledge before you get there so you don’t get it wrong.
When you get to your vacation spot, there is always value in gearing your activities to be more eco-focussed too. Ways you can do this include:
- Explore Local Areas: Instead of traveling a lot when you reach where you are staying, try to stay as local as possible. Engage with community restaurants, discover landmarks and tourist spots close by, and ask locals for homegrown gems to explore as well. There is always more than you think on the doorstep, and though going further afield has value, so does staying in one area.
- Clean up the Beach: This is not a traditional vacation activity, but it is a helpful action to take. Certain countries have more of a sea pollution issue than others, and often beaches can be infiltrated by plastic products and other waste that finds its way into local ocean scenes. This affects wildlife, beauty spots, and general pollution levels, and is a major, global issue. Do your bit, even if just for a couple of hours, by helping and clearing up some beaches. Every effort, regardless of size, is appreciated and valued.
- Camping: Camping takes things all the way back to nature. It is certainly nice to have home comforts, but there is no reason why this cannot be overlapped with enjoying nature and protecting the environment too.
- Water Sports: If your chosen destination has a body of water, there are bound to be water-based activities to engage with. This is a fun, exciting, and often new experience for a lot of people and, as long as proper procedures are followed, often more environmentally friendly than other tourist traps.
- Join in Local Wildlife Programs: To meet and explore native wildlife, finding a native organization is the best way to go. These companies are often charity focussed and have biodiversity and habitat sustainability at the forefront of their practices. It is also a much more morally focused way of engaging with animals in the area, as opposed to tourist attractions that are ethically and environmentally questionable. Animals are as much an important part of the environment as humans and need to be treated as such.
Reducing paper waste and natural resource usage is also important, and easily implemented. Try taking a solar charger for your mobile phone and other devices. Solar devices draw power from the sun which can then be used as a charging tool for electronic devices. Take this further by remembering to opt out of physical paperwork and lean into e-tickets that can be loaded and stored on phones or similar. Despite the appeal of physical book items, e-readers are indisputably more eco-friendly, so if you have one – pack that in your bag instead of buying a new paper copy to travel with!
So, as you now know there are plenty of ways to adapt your travel arrangements and activities to make them more environmentally focused. Whether it is in the choice of transport, or the things you do while away from home, every little choice has an impact in one way or another. There is always value in taking action, regardless of how big or small that action may be.