From finding the perfect destination to eagerly packing your bags, planning your next vacation can be quite a fun and exciting task. However, instead of making travel beneficial only for you, why not do your best to benefit the world around you as well?
From choosing sustainable means of transport to booking accommodation that doesn’t harm the environmental and local communities, there are many ways you can embrace eco-friendly traveling and do your part to make tourism a bit more of a sustainable practice.
Listed below are some quick and easy steps you can follow in order to become a greener and more sustainable traveler:
Choose your destination wisely
When choosing your travel destination, it helps if you avoid places that suffer from overcrowding in the high season, as this will result in a better life for the locals, as well as a better travel experience.
Instead, opt for eco-conscious destinations in some of the most sustainable nations which do their best to meet internationally established environmental targets, such as Denmark and Iceland.
Opt for green accommodation
While it’s easy to be lured in by the opulence of luxury hotels, they are quite often far from a sustainable choice. Thankfully, there are a lot of accommodation options around the world you can choose from, that are devoted to utilizing green practices and respecting the environment.
Being Asia’s greenest city, there’s no wonder there are many great hotel offers in Singapore that have the sustainability movement in mind. They understand just how important it is for travelers to have an active role in protecting the environment, which is why they’ve made it easier than ever to choose accommodation that matches your sustainable values.
Consider your mode of transport
It’s no secret that air transport is one of the most polluting of them all, which is why it would be best to embrace ground travel whenever you can. Whether you opt for busses or trains, or even decide to carpool to your destination, this slower form of transportation is much more sustainable and often even more exciting, as it gives you the opportunity to fully experience the world around you.
If you don’t have a choice and simply need to travel by air, do your best to select the most eco-friendly airlines or even consider compensating for the CO2 emission of your flight. Using public transportation, renting a bicycle or simply going on foot once you reach your destination will also reduce your total travel carbon dioxide emissions, compared to hiring a car or a motorbike.
Find ways to reduce waste
A good way to reduce food scraps and plastic waste when traveling is to opt for local restaurants and plant-based meals, even if you aren’t a vegan or a vegetarian. Apart from the obvious benefits both for the animals and the environment, these types of meals may even be better for you as well, since there is a much lower chance of accidentally getting food poisoning this way.
Another great idea would be to bring as much reusable items with you as you can, such as a reusable bamboo utensil set, reusable metal straws, water bottles, coffee cups, shopping bags and even reusable cotton makeup remover pads, in order to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic items.
Reduce energy usage and conserve water
Clean water is precious everywhere, but in many places around the world it is far more scarce than it is at home. That is why you should always be mindful of your water consumption – skip the long showers, don’t leave the water running while you brush your teeth and try to save the valuable resource of water as much as possible.
When you’re on holiday and not paying the bills like you do at home, it’s easy to forget about your electricity consumption and the importance of reducing your energy usage. Wherever you are, be careful about your responsibilities and turn the lights off when you leave the room, don’t leave the electronics off when you aren’t using them, and most importantly, turn the AC down or even off, especially when you leave your room.
Traveling sustainably is not as difficult as it seems, but it is a habit you will need to practice and nurture. There will always be some struggles and setbacks, but once you educate yourself about your energy consumption and carbon emissions, you will be able to find new ways to reduce them on your next journey.
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Sophia Smith is an Australia-based beauty and style blogger. She is very passionate about the latest fashion trends and graphic design projects. Sophia writes mostly about fashion-related topics in her articles. She has contributed to a number of publications including: LA Fashion, Viva Glam Magazine, Just Haves, How to Simplify and Carousel.