Traveling is mostly not sustainable, but by following these simple tips, you can reduce your negative environmental impact. A little bit of effort goes a long way, and is totally worth it!
5 Realistic, Cheap, & Easy Tips to Travel More Sustainably
Reusable Straws – Say No to Plastic Straws
Bring your own straws everywhere you go. You can use stainless steel straws or biodegradable paper straws, both which are better than using a plastic straw at every restaurant you visit! Or you can say no to straws altogether and just drink from the glass.
Be a good caretaker of the land you visit. Never throw trash on the ground! When you venture into the wilderness, bring a small bag with you. If you find any trash on the trail, you can pick it up and dispose it in your bag. If the available trash cans are overflowing, take your trash with you and dispose it elsewhere. Choose to recycle as often as possible.
Reusable Grocery Bags
Pack some reusable grocery bags to bring with you on your travels. Take them with you when you go shopping so you don’t have to use any plastic bags. An added bonus is that some stores give you a small discount for bringing your own reusable bags!
Reusable Water Bottles
Bring your own reusable water bottles when you travel. Not only will it keep your drink cooler, but you won’t have to use any plastic bottles. You can also bring your own water filter so you’ll always have easy access to clean drinking water wherever you go. If you must buy water, it is better to buy large cardboard boxes of water whenever possible instead of bottled water.
Consider How You Travel
Keep sustainability in mind when you plan your trip. Be honest with yourself about the impact of traveling. It is most sustainable for you to travel places that are closest to you. You can deliberately choose to plan and travel with greater care.
Methods of Travel, from Most Negative Environmental Impact to Least Environmental Impact:
Flying – Driving – Boating – Biking or Walking
Traditional jet fuel is not sustainable. It is made with fossil fuels with carbon dioxide being emitted at every step of the process, contributing to pollution. The aviation industry needs to continue moving towards the direction of sustainability. Several airports and airlines have adopted the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It’s use is still fairly new, but its use it’s growing. For more info, click here.
If you do have to fly, there are a few aspects to consider:
- It is better to stay where you’re going for a longer period of time as opposed to flying extremely often.
- The farther/longer flight you take, the more jet fuel is used.
With these considerations, you can try to plan your trip to be as sustainable as possible.
If you must travel halfway around the world, it is better to stay for a longer period of time. Aim to travel like you live there. Try to support the local communities and economies to the best of your ability. Try not to purchase or use any plastic.
Cruises, no matter how you look at them, are not sustainable or environmentally friendly. I’ve never been on a cruise and I don’t plan to. Instead of vacationing on a cruise, you can decide to spend a little extra time planning your trip with sustainability in mind.
The truth is that it’s not enjoyable to travel to popular places being overcrowded and degraded by tourists.
It seems like more and more people are quitting their day jobs and becoming influencers and digital nomads. This group of people tends to travel the world and glamorize a lifestyle of adventure and luxury. Personally, I don’t think that type of lifestyle is actually fulfilling. They achieve recognition based on how their lifestyle looks to others, not based on how it actually feels to live it.
If you have a long, extensive list of faraway places you want to travel, consider asking yourself why? What are you looking for, what are you trying to find? Do you really have to go to all those places just to say you went there? What if you decided to let a few of those places go?
Sometimes we have to travel a distance to have a certain realization. I’ve realized that you can travel all over the world, but no place you go will ever be truly better than a home that you create. There is no place that feels better than being with family, friends, and pets.
If this resonates with you even just a little bit, I encourage you to check out my other post with 15 Inspiring Home Quotes.
What if you made a different kind of bucket list… the kind of bucket list based more on specific experiences and less on a variety of locations? Adventure can be found closer to home than you think. If you enjoy the outdoors, check out a local park you haven’t been to before. Once you’ve explored your entire local area, venture out 1-2 hours, then 2-4 hours, and keep venturing outwards. There are so many nearby places that can be explored.
These tips apply to your day-to-day life as well, not just travel! Choose to make your normal daily habits more sustainable and help preserve the planet in the process.
Do you have any more tips for traveling sustainably? If so, please share them in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, please share it!