9 Easy Eco-Friendly Travel Practices

Since travel is becoming more accessible, it is essential for travelers to reduce their carbon imprint on the planet. It’s time to start thinking about the environment and be mindful of how your actions can affect the social and economic sustainability. Strive to be a responsible traveler by keeping up with your green habits even while away from home. At first, it may take extra effort to minimize your impact on the destination. But over time, traveling green will become second nature to you.

Carefully Consider your Transportation Options

If possible, travel via bus, train, or ship. These modes of transport have less of an environmental impact. If a car is needed, reduce the number of vehicles on the road by carpooling with friends and family.

Although flying isn’t eco-friendly, it is often unavoidable. However, booking non-stop flights can minimize the impact. Planes utilize the most fuel during takeoffs, and thus, create more carbon emissions. So avoiding layovers can lessen the number of takeoffs needed for your trip. 

Stay Somewhere with Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Before you book your stay, conduct research on the property for its green practices. Simply check the hotel’s website or its TripAdvisor listing page or, better yet, contact the property directly. Water conservation may not be on the company’s agenda if the hotel has a pool.

Conserve Water

Pretend your place of stay is your house and you’d have to pay the water bills. Will you still ask for fresh towels and sheets every day? Save water by reusing hotel towels and bed linen. Let housekeeping know you want to keep the towels by hanging them up or have the 'do not disturb' card on your door. You can even bring a towel from home.

Conserve water by taking short showers and not baths. Don’t run the water while you’re brushing your teeth. Bring a refillable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water! Take advantage of the kettles offered by most accommodations to refill your bottles before you leave! This green habit can also save you some greens.

Dispose Waste Properly

Sometimes you’re feeling lazy and would rather not walk the extra step to the garbage bin.  But it’s time to take responsibility for what you flush down the toilet. Flushing anything other than toilet paper can clog toilets and cause sewage blockages. Yes, this includes Kleenex, wet wipes, condoms, sanitary napkins, and tampons. Although it may seem as if you got rid of your garbage, it is still in fact on the face of this planet. If it gets caught in the sewer system, workers will have to deal with the blockages made out of your waste. But what’s worse is when the items manage to leave the sewers and go out into the sea. Can you imagine marine life consuming your garbage? To avoid that, aim for the trash bin instead of flushing your trash down the toilet. After all, the walk from the bathroom to the garbage can can't be that bad.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Remember to limit your energy consumption while you’re asleep or leaving the hotel room. You can do so by turning off the lights and T.V. if you’re going to sleep. Don't leave the T.V. running in the background while you’re occupied with other things. Keep the heat or air conditioning off if the temperature in the room is already perfect. Remind yourself to turn off everything before leaving the room, or better yet, unplug all the electronics.

Finish Your Meal

Being in an unfamiliar environment means plenty of new things to try. But you should resist the temptation of eating anything and everything. Be sure to only order or buy what you can finish. Don’t be a contributor to food waste. Consider sharing your food with your travel companion or taking the food to go if there are leftovers. Also, consider eating at locally owned restaurants to support the local economy.

Use a Reusable Shopping Bag

If you haven't found a reason to love tote bags yet, maybe you'll change your mind after reading this. Many places around the world have already banned stores from handing out single-use and non-biodegradable plastic bags. Some cities like Hong Kong and San Francisco require businesses to charge a fee per checkout bag. Thus, people have taken it upon themselves to carry reusable bags with them as a response to these changes. Even if you don’t mind paying for the carryout bags or your travel destination hasn't imposed such laws, it's still beneficial to carry a tote bag with you. For one, it can cut down on wasteful packaging during your stay.

Use Enviornmentally Friendly Transportation

Calling a taxi or using a ridesharing app sounds like a hassle-free way to get to your destination. But taking the public transportation has its perks too. You get to experience the way of life like a local and more importantly, reduce air pollution. Some places even offer bike rentals as a mode of transport. If there's time to spare, why not walk to your destination?

Opt for Eco-Friendly Activites

Before you join any tours, make sure the company is ethical when it comes to wildlife and the ecosystem! Don’t sign up for tours that promise encounters with wild animals because they are most likely part of an industry that captures, transports, and abuses animals. Another reminder is to be careful about disturbing wildlife habitat. Be safe and keep the animals safe. Taking the fun to the ocean? Avoid touching the coral reefs and damaging the ecosystem if you're scuba diving.

Be conscious that your actions can affect the environment around you. Travel responsibly and make green vacation choices.

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