Let’s chat about sustainable travel. This year, I made myself a promise to travel in a more ecologically responsible way. But that’s not so easy when you’re a travel blogger and your travel bucket list is getting longer by the day.
The Australian bushfires, plastic polluting our oceans, the coronavirus spreading throughout the world, and winters that have long ceased to be true winters… it breaks my heart and I can’t help but feel partly responsible.
While searching for a solution, I came across the concept of ecologically responsible travel. I was immediately interested but I had also a couple of questions – how does travelling sustainably work, and can you still be ecologically responsible while embarking on adventures?
START WITH YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE
First and foremost, we need to be concerned with the environment every day – not just when we’re travelling.
In my day-to-day life, I make multiple products myself, like lip balm and detergent. I buy ecological bars of soap to wash my hands and shower, and I take my reusable water bottle and coffee mug with me everywhere. Gifts are wrapped with old newspaper at our house, and my reusable shopping bags always accompany me when going to the store. We buy water in glass bottles, and try to avoid plastic packaging as much as possible when grocery shopping.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT TRAVEL
I must admit I didn’t even know where to start when it comes to travelling sustainably.
We shouldn’t necessarily travel less, but we definitely do need to travel differently. Sustainable travel and seeing the world in an ecologically responsible way is so important for all of us.
SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some handy tips for travelling sustainably that I always try to apply during our trips:
- Get a reusable water bottle: Wherever we travel in the world, our reusable water bottles are standard items in our hand luggage. Of course, there are certain places where it isn’t wise to drink straight from the tap. If you find yourself in that position, don’t worry. We buy a large 5 litre water bottle, so that we only have to buy plastic once instead of 10 small bottles of water.
- Leave nothing behind: One of the main rules of sustainable travel is that wherever you go, you should leave nothing behind but your own footsteps. Take your own waste bag and, even better, pick up litter that others have left behind. I’m not saying that you should be dragging full trash bags around on a hike, but picking up any little bits of rubbish you find makes a huge difference.
- Research your activities: Planning to go on safari in Africa or visit an elephant sanctuary in Thailand? Do the necessary research beforehand. You only want to visit reputable places where the animals are treated well. And by treated well, I mean ethical sanctuaries where you can not touch the animals, bathe with them or feed them.
- Think sustainably – even in hotels: When you’re staying in the comfort of a hotel, it can be hard to remember that you still need to be ecologically responsible. Are you staying in a hotel for a long period of time? Make sure you always hang your towels back neatly, so that they are not replaced and washed every day.
- Eat locally produced food: Opt to support local farmers and businesses rather than big food chains. In Sri Lanka, we stayed in a resort with its own organic farm, where they use the farm-to-table concept. Everything we got on our plate came from the hotel’s garden – and I can assure you it was delicious!
- Think about your transport: It goes without saying, but wherever possible opt to travel by train or bus rather than taxi, car or plane.
- Support local businesses: Sleep in little boutique hotels owned by small, local families rather than large hotel chains.
- Greenseat: If you do not travel on foot or by bicycle, your means of transport will emit CO2. You can compensate for this on the GreenSeat website. This organization provides households in developing countries with access to sustainable energy. The amount of CO2 that your travel emits will be equalled through climate projects elsewhere in the world. With this project, you improve the living conditions for local families.
Like it? Pin it!