You don’t have to do cross-country cycling or sleep in tents only to travel sustainably. When it comes to being an eco-friendly traveler, it’s all about putting into practice those small but meaningful “green” efforts.
For instance, when traveling, we tend to value convenience over everything else. That means, buying bottled water and consuming food packaged in plastic. So, how do we reduce carbon footprint so that our favorite destinations remain beautiful (and trash-free) for years to come?
For a start, you could start by choosing hotels, transportation, and tours that prioritize on sustainable practices. And do your bit by not needing clean sheets or towels everyday. But, once you step outside of your stay, where do you begin to reduce carbon footprint? We’ve helped you come up with some low-effort eco-friendly steps that you could take the next time you travel. Read on!
1. Pack light
The lighter your luggage is, the better! For instance, instead of packing two large suitcases, just bring one for check in, or better, just a carry-on. This might seem insignificant, but the less a plane weighs, the less carbon emissions it would produce. The best part is, you won’t even need to wait around to claim your luggage!
2. Bring your own water bottle
Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose! Do Mother Earth a favor and bring your own water bottle. Most airports have free water dispensers these days and if you run out of water while sightseeing, most restaurants would be happy to refill the bottle for you (just ask nicely!).
3. Eat local
What’s the best way to explore a new city? Through its food, of course! Eating more local food reduces carbon emissions by reducing food miles — the distance food travels from farm to consumer. Plus, it’s fresh and healthy so, it’s a win-win situation, we must say!
4. Shop locally
Buying locally-made products as opposed to imported goods has a bigger carbon offset. What’s more, you’ll be helping the local economy, and learning more about the culture by talking to the sellers. Who knows, you might bring home some interesting stories to tell!
5. Always have a reusable bag
On the same note, remember to bring a tote bag that will help you reduce plastic waste. Canvas bags are easy to roll up and you can even use it for day-to-day activities. We like to use it to store our dirty clothes for laundry day! Can’t stand that annoying sound plastic bags make when being crumpled? That problem is ironed out smoothly with the canvas bag.
6. Use public transportation
This should go without saying, but commuting via public transportation or renting a vehicle is a sure way of minimizing your carbon footprint. Not only does it cut down on fuel usage, it helps you to save money for other traveling expenses. If you want to save more, we’d recommend taking a MRT! You get to explore the city, while also burning off calories from all the local food you’ve been eating!
7. Leave only footprints behind
Always be mindful about respecting the local environment. Stay on trails and public footpaths, do not remove plants or feed wild animals and most importantly, don’t litter! No matter where you travel, you should only leave behind footprints.
It may appear tedious at first, but trust us, traveling responsibly will only get better with constant practice. Taking these small, simple steps will have a lasting impact on sustaining our beautiful planet. Ultimately, all these benefits go back to you!