Whether you’re traveling domestically within your country of residence, taking a much needed vacation, or trotting across the globe, it’s important to take into consideration how you can reduce your footprint and leave very little trace behind! Being green while on the go is cheap, simple, won’t take up much room in your suitcase, and is guaranteed to leave you feeling happy about your life decisions!
With these below tips, we hope you’ll leave only a positive impact with all of the good vibes you’re spreading along your travels! And maybe some inspiration for those who observe your earth-loving practices!
1. Reusable Water Bottle
First we will start with our number one basic need, water! While traveling, often one of the first questions while journeying to a new place is, “Is the local water safe to drink?” The answer to this question may depend also on what your definition of “safe” is. Travelers may often buy water bottles in these places when feeling unsure. However, this is not a sustainable option if you continue this practice throughout your entire trip. If chlorine, fluoride, unknown organisms, and whatever else is not your thing then I would suggest looking into an option that will allow you to filter your water straight from the tap in the countries that you visit. These water bottle filters are compact and can filter out chlorine, bacteria, parasites, and other unwanted chemicals from your water source.
2. Reusable Bags
Buying groceries rather than eating out is one way travelers save major cash while on the go. This practice can also leave you with many plastic bags over time that you won’t want to add to your packs that are already bursting at the seams. The good news is, reusable bags are becoming a more widespread practice and are available in many grocery stores! These bags don’t cost much, are strong, and collapse into a tiny size which is perfect for travel. You’ll find that you’ll be relying on these bags quite a bit for many other purposes throughout your travel and will surely be glad that you brought them!
Say NO to plastic straws or bring your own reusable one! If you partake in smoothies, flavored teas, or trying out different local drinks during your travels, a reusable straw may be the perfect investment for you! You can get packs of them online for super cheap and they can be made of bamboo, metal, or other reusable materials. They are AWESOME and your friends will want them too, so make sure to buy lots of them and share the gift of green travel. They are thin, will take up hardly any extra space and will make a positive impact on the amount of plastic floating around the world. Now you can sip on your exotic drink of choice that’s been poured into your reusable bottle guilt free with your eco-friendly straw.
4. Collapsable, Reusable To-go Containers/Other Utensils
If you’re a traveling foodie, a big part of the adventure is delighting your tastebuds with the exciting and different cuisines that you will come across in your travels. Collapsable to-go containers and reusable utensils are a great option for anyone who is traveling and plans on eating as well. Ultimately this is a way to avoid using plastic while storing your own food, meals you’ve bought while exploring, and for packing up left-overs. Having your own utensils, whether it be a spork, knife, chopstick or some combination of all the above, will eliminate your use of plastic in this area as well. Again, easy, cost-effective, hardly any space required, and it feels good!
5. Eco-friendly products
Doing some of your own research into what kind of eco-friendly products you want to incorporate into your life and your travels can leave your conscious feeling clean and the world a bit cleaner as well! I was horrified once as I was draining a washing machine to see that the long pipe was dumping the water directly into the creek below me! Eco-friendly laundry detergent options, shampoo/conditioner, and other products that may find their way into water systems are always a good option to explore for those who wish to minimize their impact on the environment. Portable, solar chargers for electronics is another option if you wish you reduce your energy use and find yourself unexpectedly or expectedly without electricity.
Taking the time to check out your options for recycling is another minimal effort task a traveler can do while on their epic journey. If there’s nothing nearby at the time, it may be worth it to hold onto your recyclables and check out your future options. Who knows, it may lead you to a cool local spot or an unforgettable experience! All because you care about mother earth!
**If you’ve noticed, many of the tips here pertain to reducing the use of plastic. Plastic pollution and waste is a global epidemic. Enough of plastic is thrown away each year to circle the globe FOUR times! That’s why it’s already worthwhile to adopt these tips into your life now, even if a trip isn’t in your near future. If you plan to travel, leave the mark on the world you can be proud of. Happy GREEN travels to all!
By Sarah Blanks