Almost 80% of people want to learn how to behave more sustainably. A few small changes to how we live and act every day could benefit the environment. By reducing our impact, we can take care of this world we love!
After all, it’s the only one we have.
You can even learn how to make a trip sustainable and take what you learn on the road. Here are seven ways to be sustainable during your next trip. With these tips, you can travel conscientiously and reduce your impact on the earth!
Get ready to go green with these seven sustainable travel tips today!
1. Consider Your Destinations
The first step to sustainable travel is to think about where you’re going.
If you can, try to avoid traveling by plane. You might want to consider a location that’s more local. Taking a pedestrian- or bicycle-friendly trip can reduce your carbon footprint.
If you decide to plan a trip that requires driving, make sure to consider your route.
You might want to think about avoiding tourist-packed areas, too. Otherwise, locals are bound to feel overcrowded.
Traveling gives you the chance to learn about different environments, cultures, and wildlife. Unfortunately, there are some locations that are hurt by tourism. One of these locations includes the Great Barrier Reef; one of Australia’s greatest attractions.
Overpopulation leads to pollution, which can bleach the reef. Oil spills can decimate an entire ecosystem as well. Other areas that are at-risk due to tourism include Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, and Mount Everest.
These areas could lose their natural beauty as tourists leave behind trash, pollute the air, and ruin the water. As tourism grows, deforestation and road development increase as well.
Instead of rushing to pick a location, take the time to consider where you’re going and how you’re getting there. You might want to consider visiting an area that values sustainability.
A location that values the ecosystem will strive to protect it.
Here are a few transportation trips that can help you remain sustainable as you move from one location to the next:
- If you’re flying, book non-stop flights
- Choose an International Air Transportation Association airline (which offer carbon offset programs)
- Rent a hybrid or electric vehicle if you plan to drive
- Take public transportation such as a bus, train, or ship when you can
Otherwise, try to stay away from cruise ships or other methods that can do more harm than good.
2. Pack Your Bags
What you take with you can help you find ways to be sustainable during your trip, too.
First, make sure to take a reusable water bottle. There are even collapsible bottles that are easier to stow into your bag.
You might also consider:
- Metal straws or utensil
- Food containers
- Cloth shopping bags
- Travel mugs
These items can replace all of your single-use disposable items.
When packing your bags for your sustainable trip, try to pack light. Do you plan on stepping into the ocean or a lake? Make sure your products don’t contain any damaging chemicals.
These sustainable travel products can help a well.
3. Find a Place to Stay
When learning how to make a trip sustainable, it’s important to consider where you’re staying, too.
Are you staying in the US? See if the hotel has certification from the US Green Building Council. LEED Certification indicates:
- Water savings
- Design innovation
- Smart material selection
- High indoor environmental quality
- Energy efficiency
- Sustainable site development
If you plan on traveling overseas, there are other certification programs to consider. Some countries have their own certification programs. A few of these programs include Green Globe, Green Tourism Business Scheme, EarthCheck, and Rainforest Alliance.
Learning about the hotel’s sustainability initiatives will help you make your travel plans.
4. Live Like the Locals
Once you reach your destination, try to live like a local.
Try to ignore the travel guides and recommendations you find online. Instead, take time to speak with the people around you. Look for local restaurants, markets, and shows the locals love themselves.
Where are locals shopping for their food? What are the area’s main staples?
If you have a tour planned, ask to travel with a smaller group. You can find tours that have a membership with The International Ecotourism Society. Their membership indicates the tours are conducted with sustainability in mind.
5. Head for a Hike
Do you plan on hiking during your sustainable trip? Try to stick to the path.
Otherwise, you could unintentionally harm flora or fauna. Avoid touching any of the wildlife or feeding the animals. You are, after all, disturbing their home.
If you plan on taking out your camera for a quick pic, make sure to keep your distance. You don’t want to attract the animals’ attention.
Make sure to take a small bag with you. Collect any trash you see along the way.
The world produces 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste. By 2050, that could increase to 3.40 billion tonnes!
6. Shop Green
Before you grab souvenirs from your trip, consider these sustainable travel tips for shopping:
- Look for items that are locally produced (handmade) instead of imports
- Don’t purchase anything made from ancient artifacts, hardwoods, or endangered species
- Look for indigenous artisans to help preserve local culture
- Consider purchasing consumables (spices, candy, chocolate, etc.)
Don’t forget to strike up conversations with some of the locals as you shop.
7. Save Water
You can also find ways to be sustainable by learning how to save money.
Avoid baths by taking showers instead. Turn the water off while you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, shampooing, or washing your skin. If you stay at a hotel, avoid using the hotel laundry.
You can also hang your towels up after using them instead of having the hotel wash them every day.
Get Going, Going Green: 7 Ways to Be Sustainable While Traveling
Ready to make the most of your travel plans? With these seven ways to be sustainable, you can plan a vacation with the earth in mind. Give back what you take with these sustainable travel tips.
Looking for more helpful guides before your sustainable trip? Check out my latest tips today!