I love travelling, and I am convinced that you can be green as well as hit by the love of wanderlust. Therefore, I challenge myself to be greener than ever whilst travelling, and of course encourage other people to do so as well!
1. Buy carbon offsets
It’s a known case amongst people that airplanes use a lot of fuel and energy. And even though the airplane technology is getting further and further at this point, it still haven’t reached a point of satisfaction for the planet. So what to do when travelling green? Do the best out of it and buy carbon offsets! Carbon offests is a sum that you pay an organization/company to neutralize your impact on the environment by E.G plant trees, increase the use of renewable energy or improve recycling opportunities. Read more about them here at this link, or take a search for it: http://www.renewablechoice.com/residential.html
2. Use reusable water bottles
We obviously need to drink some whilst travelling, and water is always a must-have for a healthy and green holiday. In the first place, water is a natural fluid, while softdrinks are not. Then water is obviously saving emissions in the production. Second, pure water has so many positive health effects! Amongst them you’ll find healthy teeth, a cleared-up head and hydration that lasts.
Though did you know what an impact bottled water has got on the planet? I suggest you read this really good post I found in my WordPress ‘reader’, which pretty much sums it up; http://fieldnotesfromfatherhood.com/2014/02/26/water-that-kills/
What I personally do is to bring my regular water bottle with me, and I simply fill it with tap water(as long as that water is not poisonous or something…). And I’m ready for a new day of travel! Though remember to empty the bottle before security control at an airport!
3. Use the public transport systems
Admit it; most countries have some kind of public transport system. Though some countires are really much different from developed countires, and I do not suggest it a good idea to sit on the roof of an overfilled bus or take the train through an area where the chances you’ll get shot are sky high. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to go there anyway.
My message is; if there’s a good public transporting system, use it! You do not necessarily need to rent a car or take the taxi everywhere. Public transport is so much; buses, trains, trams or subways, you got it!
4. Backpacking; It’ll change your shopping habits!
Backpacks ain’t just for hiking and camping. Take your backpack with you to foreign destinations and you don’t have to worry if the suitcase will get up the stairs or not! It is mostly perfectly possible to fit the necessary things for a travel into a backpack of suitable size. And so practical!
Though most importantly; you can’t simply go shopping as much as you can with a super-size suitcase. There is of course 100 litres giga-backpacks, but then the point has gone away. I’m talking those middle sized backpacks you use for hiking. The backpacking changes focus of the travel; you are more free to experience things as you travel lighter and with the load on your back, and you take away the materialistic focus of buying everything you see and find attractive. So backpacking is good for your soul, your body and for the planet! Then, you can only buy a few things, and then it’s more likely you will think twice before you buy. Souvenirs are cool, but we’re fine with a couple instead of twenty, right?
5. Support local farmers and restaurants
Short-travelled food is always a must. Check out farmer’s markeds, local-labels at the grocery store, restaurants with locally produced food and try out the country’s own cousine. And if you get some organic food into that travelling stomach, that’ll make it even better. Many countires, as E.G Britain and Germany, have a big marked for orgainc food. Check out what the word for organic is in the country before you go. It is called different things, from bio to eco.
6. Stay at environmental hotels
If you are to stay at a hotel, choose one of those that support environmental actions if it is available where you’re going. Everything from worldwide hotel chains to small family-run places offer this. They write it on their homepage, as well as they will gladly answer you if you ask whether they do an effort on improving the environment or not.
Some things that many hotels do to improve the environment is amoungst many to encourage guests to use the towels twice, serve organic/locally produced food, use renewable energy and have soap dispensers instead of small plastic bottles. Try to find an environmental choice where you’re going! (And remember to let them know that what they do for the planet is really good)
7. Place experiences over shopping on your ‘to do list’
Maybe you’re going to a country where everything is a lot cheaper than where you normally live. We know that feeling of ‘omg, I can get like four T-shirts for the same price of one at home’. Remember to control yourself and don’t use many days wandering around at stores buying all sort of things that are wants and not needs. Try to stick to buying only a few things that you really have a need for, and that have got some quality so it’ll last more than a month.
What most of us want to achieve when out travelling, is experiences. We want to do things we don’t normally do, that we cannot do where we have normally live, that will be remembered and that will provide us something, E.G knowledge, happiness or introspection. Put experiences that will provide you something, higher on the ‘to do list’ than wandering around in the shopping facilities.
So that was it for this time; though it will certainly come more later on! Especially meanwhile I’m travelling, I get all these ideas on how to green the whole travel up. Hope you enjoyed and that you can take a use of my tips and tricks for a greener travellers-life!