Traveling, as a concept, is kind of bad for the environment. It requires fuel for transportation, often in abundant amounts. At the same time, they seem to be kind of connected. For me, the two things are quite literally all I care about.
But if you’re driving a lot & burning through gas, jumping in a plane full of fuel, using travel sized throw-away bottles, using the styrofoam cups at the continental breakfast, you know, the things add up. And they make me feel GUILTY. So I started making a list of things to make it better for the environment.
This is one part sharing my ideas of what works and one part inspiring myself to keep up with these notions for my upcoming trips. And a third part fun!
Bring along reusable bottles, mugs
This will be on all my green lists, btw. But seriously – we bring our water bottles on all our trips. You never have to worry about $6 bottles at the gift shop, or when the convenience store closes… Just find a water fountain, or even a sink. Same with coffee mugs – we bring ’em on trips! Wash them out with your free water and avoid all things styrofoam.
Small containers ftw
Instead of travel sized bottles, get reusable containers for shampoo, conditioner, lotion… cheaper and you don’t have to worry about TSA liquid limits! I’d ideally like to be better at this, as well as maybe replacing them with a better material – like glass? Easier to recycle and sturdier? But for now, I’m happy with my reusable bottles.
If you travel like me, you’re decreasing your water usage by showering way less than normal! I usually shower every day- even when I don’t necessarily feel dirty. It’s kind of a habit that I’m annoyed with, but I just love going to bed clean. But when I’m traveling, that often falls by the wayside! If we’re camping, or sleeping in the car, there’s just not access to showers. So we don’t do it, and I’m typically ok with going about 3 days without showering. (This is obviously a bit easier when it’s not super hot out, in these cases I have been known to rinse off a bit in the middle of a forest). Does this one count? Who’s to say. But this is my post so I’m using it! In general, camping has little harmful impact, and we’re using far less energy than in a hotel.
^ classic screenshot from a video because I cannot find the picture.
It’s all about the place you’re traveling to, too! I generally am traveling to a place where I am making little impact to the environment – aka parks. I believe in the power of parks and our natural world, so most of my tourism surrounds going to parks and supporting their future. Wikipedia defines sustainable tourism as ‘the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.’ This is something I believe in wholeheartedly – all tourism should be sustainable tourism. Whether you’re eating local food, visiting locations that strive to conserve the environment/natural beauty, or staying at hotels with commitments to sustainability, you’re helping strengthen sustainable tourism! A big goal of mine and something I strive for in each trip.
Offset your miles
I mentioned this in my last post, but offsetting travel miles is something I do to feel less guilty about energy-consuming roadtrips and plane rides. It’s an easy solution to help feel better about what you’re doing, and it actually puts your money back towards very valuable and helpful projccts. Calculate your miles and learn more at www.thegoodtraveler.org (that’s what I use, I’m sure there are others too!).
That’s it for now! Hopefully you can take some of these green travel tips into your next trip!