Everyone loves traveling, but not many people know the importance of conscious traveling. Eco-friendly way of traveling can greatly help the environment and reduce pollution, and aside from that, it can also benefit your finances to some extent. So here are some sustainable travel tips if you want to be the conscious traveler:
1. Avoid fast-food chain stores
Chain fast food stores such as Subway or McDonald’s are known all over the world, so seeing one wherever you go is a given. There are certain benefits to eating there since their food is the same everywhere and familiar so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. Yet, corporate fast food chains are also big polluters, so it’s much better to eat locally-sourced food or visit small family-owned restaurants where you’ll be able to taste authentic local dishes instead of burgers and fries that tend to taste a bit repetitive. If you decide to buy from small business and eat food that was locally produced, you’re not only helping the environment, but also contributing to the local economy of the place you’re visiting.
2. Try flying less
Even though it’s super convenient and life-saving, flying still pollutes the environment through heavy use of jet fuels. Of course, if you’re flying somewhere really far, then feel free to book a plane ticket, but in any other case, it’s more recommended to drive, use a train or a bus. Since planes leave a big carbon footprint, it’s much better to use alternative ways of transportation, especially if you’re big on protecting the planet. After all, sometimes riding a train or taking a road trip can be fun and you can get a chance to meet new people and experience new interesting things and places.
3. Travel lightly
It might be tempting to bring two large suitcases with a lot of clothes and cosmetics, but traveling with a lot of heavy luggage can be beneficial to the environment. Planes that have a lot of heavy luggage weigh more and therefore need more fuel, which hurts the environment. If you decide to travel lightly, you’ll save money on luggage fees and you’ll also spend less time packing and planning. Besides, lifting and dragging heavy suitcases can have consequences for your health, such as strained back muscles. Instead, plan well and opt for packing bare essentials.
4. Use eco-cosmetics
When we want to pack light for our travel, we usually decide to buy toothpaste, shampoo, and other essentials when we arrive at our destination. That can make some changes in our routine and it can be a key moment to buy something that you haven’t used before. Maybe on your next journey, you can buy handmade, eco cosmetic products that can improve your skin or hair because it is made out of natural ingredients. Natural deodorants are also huge right now, and you can try to find the perfect scent on your next vacation. If you still have doubts about natural and handmade eco cosmetics, read some reviews on resourceful websites such as Walk Jog Run and stay open-minded.
5. Use fewer plastic products
Pretty much everyone knows the dangers of plastic waste and the grave consequences it can have for the Earth, especially marine life. Plastic can release dangerous chemicals into the water and soil and harm all the species who live there and drink water. Obviously, it’s hard to stop using plastic completely, so if possible, try reusing plastic bottles, boxes and other product packages that are made of plastic. Start small, so for example, try to quit using plastic straws and find a way to use biodegradable Q-tips. And finally, stop using plastic bags and opt for reusable options, such as totes.
6. Use public transportation
Going to a new destination can be tricky, as you probably want to go sightseeing and exploring, for which you need a car or a cab. But, if you’re planning an eco-friendly trip, it’s much better to use public transportation together with locals. Public transport is much better for the environment as it can help people lower their individual carbon footprint and the emissions related to driving and vehicles. They’re also cost-effective since you can get monthly or yearly tickets instead of spending too much money on gas and taxi fees.
7. Start biking
Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly ways of transportation. Besides, it’s also great for one’s health since it’s also a type of physical exercise. Many big cities offer bike rental points so you can take a bike at one place and return it at another. Biking can offer you a chance to see the city through your own eyes, while also integrating with locals in a way that would be impossible with a sightseeing group. Just remember to be careful and keep yourself safe, so you won’t be involved in an accident. Get informed about the traffic conditions and be alert while cycling.
Traveling consciously can be different from regular traveling, but with a bit of effort and dedication, you can have a fantastic trip while also doing your bit to protect the environment. You’ll see that if you give it a chance, you’ll be able to enrich your life with many new valuable friendships and experiences.