It’s important to know the ways to be a sustainable traveler, because many people that may take care of the environment when they’re at home forget when they go traveling. So here are 9 ways to be a sustainable traveler and take care of our planet while still having a great time.
It’s perhaps the most obvious of all the ways to be a sustainable traveler, but so many people forget simple things like recycling when they’re away from home. You may have to work a bit harder to recycle, but do ask hotel staff about recycling bins, carry your own shopping bags, take a reusable coffee cup and water bottle, and pass your newspaper on to another traveler once you’ve finished with it.
Walking is free, it’s good for you, it’s fun when exploring somewhere new, and it doesn’t harm the environment at all. If you can walk somewhere when you’re on vacation, do it. It’s the best way to experience an area anyway.
3. Take Public Transport
If you can’t walk to where you want to go, then using public transport rather than a car is definitely one of the best ways to be a sustainable traveler. Make use of what is specific to where you are, as public transport is often part of the experience. For example, if you go to London, you really need to experience the Tube.
4. Use Glass, Not Plastic
Did you know that a whopping 6% of the world’s hydrocarbon consumption is for plastic beverage bottles? Don’t make this worse when you’re traveling, and drink a glass of tap water (provided it’s safe) rather than consuming bottle after bottle.
5. Reuse Your Towels
Gone are the days of domestic or housekeeping staff automatically washing your towels every day. There are usually instructional signs, and generally if you place towels on the floor they will be changed. Don’t do this unless you really need to; use them a few times rather than just once.
6. Only Buy Local Souvenirs
This is one of the ways to be a sustainable traveler that many people wouldn’t think of. Go to Paris and buy a model of the Eiffel Tower, and chances are it will have been made in China. Seek local, handmade pieces rather than the usual tourist trash. It’s more meaningful and better for the environment, too.
7. Eat Local Food
The same rules apply as with souvenirs, really. You don’t want to be eating food that has high air miles. Eating local cuisine with locally source ingredients is better for the environment and helps support the economy of the country you’re visiting. It’s a win win situation.
8. Take Short Showers
It can be tempting to indulge in long showers on vacation, especially after long hot sticky days and being covered in sun cream and chlorine. Keep your showers short to reduce water wastage.
9. Use Your Hands and Feet
There are plenty of things that you can do for fun that are also ways to be a sustainable traveler. These activities don’t involve releasing any carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and many are also methods are transport that can get you places too. Pedal, hike, ski, paddle, row, skate, and anything else you may fancy.
Hopefully you’ve learnt a few more ideas about how to be a sustainable traveler, and will put these into use next time you’re away. If everyone in the world made a bit more of an effort to protect the environment, there’s no doubt that it would be in a much better condition right now. Do what you can and encourage others to do the same. Are you’re a responsible traveler?