As globe trotters, we all want to do good for the planet and the incredible new destinations we are exploring, but sometimes it feels hard to action, especially when you are on holidays. However, the good news is it’s the simple choices we can make when on the road that can lessen our negative impact on the world and while they feel small, these decisions add up to make a huge difference to our planet.
Here are our simple tips to help you travel more eco-friendly.
1. Embrace the material bag
When we are caught up in the excitement of travelling, whether it’s shopping along Singapore’s Orchard Road or picking up foreign snacks at the local supermarket, it’s easy to slip into holiday mode and forget about those little positive environmental deeds, like bringing your own reusable shopping bag. Plastic bags are one of the biggest contributors to our waste and take a staggering 500 years to biodegrade. You want memories of your holiday to last for years, but 500 years is far too long. Pack a tote bag and carry it around with you for spontaneous shopping or souvenir buying.
2. Travel like the locals on public transport
Taking public transport is one of the best eco-friendly choices you can make while travelling. Not only does it add to your cultural travelling experience, but you also cut down on the carbon emissions that are generated by travelling in a private vehicle. If you’re only travelling short distances or getting familiar with a town or city, try hiring a bike or simply walking to both boost your fitness and help mother nature out.
3. Ditch the plastic water bottles
We all know the harm plastic does to the environment and plastic water bottles make up for a huge amount of that waste. Avoid buying water as you go at convenience stores and instead bring a reusable water bottle that you can use every day and fill up at bubblers or other water stations around town. There is a huge range of aluminum and thermo options that also help keep your drinks cold. By not purchasing plastic water bottles every day, you’re not only helping reduce waste but also saving some cash.
If you’re in a destination where it’s unsafe to drink tap water, you could also invest in bottles that have water filters or alternatively use water purification tablets. In many destinations, there are also safe water refill stations. If you’re in Southeast Asia, you can use this app to find water refill stations.
4. Eat and drink locally
There are so many benefits to eating local while travelling that it seems crazy not to. Pass on the food giants such as McDonalds and Starbucks and instead seek out some local produce and traditional dishes that haven’t been imported into the region. Street food is often a great option for this (and provides the most authentic food experience) and if you’re out at night, choose local craft brews or wines to celebrate your adventures. By choosing to support local chefs, farmers, and brewers, you’re also supporting the local economy.
5. Stick to the path and leave no impact
When travelling around the local environment, especially when hiking nature trails, make sure to stick to the footpath or defined trail to avoid trampling protected or endangered plants and even animal homes. As much as we love souvenirs to remember our adventures, plants are not one of them, so stick to photos to capture your memories and leave the rest in its natural home.
6. Unplug your home
Whilst you enjoy a break on your holiday, let your appliances and electronics have a break too. Before you leave for your trip, unplug as many items as you can in your home to reduce power consumption. Even if your electrical items are on sleep mode, they’re still using energy. This small action not only helps reduce electricity but also saves you money on your power bill. It’s a win-win.
These simple steps may not seem huge, but collectively they can make a huge positive impact on the environment.