Top 10 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Eco-friendly travel does not have to be complicated! I offer easy options to swap out some not so environmentally friendly options for sustainable ones.
Give them a try and let our travel community know what you think.
"The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world". – Gaylord Nelson,
Founder of Earth Day
Responsible and Eco-friendly tourism is a challenge, often a new one, where we can at times become emotionally conflicted as to how best to respond to situations we see.
Situations such as the vast disparity of wealth, the abuse of children and the destruction of entire communities from war or natural disaster gain global attention and as a tourist, it is impossible to ignore.
The ethos of Eco-friendly tourism is an increasingly popular topic for the travel industry and the trend is growing as a collective movement all around the world.
What does it mean to be an Eco-friendly traveller?
Travel For Change believes in two key elements of Eco-friendly travel; awareness and choice.
As a traveller, I try my best to make myself aware of the short and long-term concerns and then make informed choices which help contribute to the places I visit.
I feel that Eco-friendly travel should be easy and practical for everyone.
Here Are My 10 Simple Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Traveller
#1 Pack Less
Why? Hostel life is easier. Each time you arrive at your next destination, you must unpack and then repack your bag every time. If you are travelling and staying at hostels, the least number of bags you should worry about securing the easier hostel life will be.
It's cheaper. Packing light saves you time and money and reduces your overall #environmental footprint. No checked luggage on budget flights means no additional charges at the airport. Less to worry about. Travelling light gives you a sense of freedom and makes the adventure easier.
I adapted a few methods for reusing items that I learnt while backpacking How? Reusable plastic zip lock bags. They are great for packing basically anything in your backpack including food and toiletries. Reusable water bottle. Reduce your #plastic waste by purchasing and reusing a water bottle as much as possible. Clothing. Purchase items locally as you need them, donate any items you no longer want and reuse items such as sarongs and rain jackets.
This is so important when it comes to Eco-friendly travel. Recycling is a priority for any Eco-friendly business or individual and there are many ways you can recycle when on the road. Recycle the #packaging of items if possible and aim to use less plastic bags, cutlery, straws, rubber bands and cups. As our ever-growing love for coffee continues to grow our used coffee cups are causing damage to the #environment on a massive scale. In Australia alone, it is estimated that 90% of coffee cups end up in landfill, equalling to around 60,000 kilos of plastic waste each year. Cafes are promoting Eco-friendly changes to how coffee is made and served so check in with the community to see what options are available nearby. Recycling our food packaging is a wonderful way to start being Eco-friendly.
#4 Volunteer Responsibly
Volunteering your time is an opportunity for both yourself and the community to learn and grow. #Volunteering can drive social change and development in education, health and security. Before agreeing to volunteer remember the following: Think child safe and be aware of orphanage tourism; many orphanages are created to profit directly from tourists. Don't support the animal #tourism industry; avoid zoo's and buying gifts made from the illegal animal trade. What skills do you have that could best be used as a volunteer to ensure the project benefits everyone? Is the project sustainable within the community for the long-term? Is there a fee involved and do you understand the allocation of your donations?
#5 Switch It Off
Leave nothing on in your room when you leave to go exploring. Enjoy nature and the beautiful surroundings as you #travel. Read a book or talk to locals when you visit a shop or market and reduce the number of hours you spend overall on technology.
#6 Educate Yourself
Eco-friendly tourism is all about finding ways to travel without harming the natural environment. Learning about contemporary trends in tourism, what tour groups are Eco-friendly, where to eat local and how to support #sustainable projects is up to the individual traveller. Be an informed tourist on the area you are visiting and make decisions that you think are in line with your own values and morals.
#7 Eat In
My advice is simple: Eat local produce. Support local farmers. Eat more plants!
Fruits and Vegetables are seasonal and they grow when our body needs them most.
Winter produce is comforting and sustains our energy and summer produce is refreshing and full of hydrating vitamins. Local food is part of the culture and the community and can be an active and exciting part of your travels. Local cooking schools run sustainable tours where travellers can go to the wet market, buy fresh daily produce and learn to cook traditional meals.
Why more plants? The meat industry requires massive amounts of land, energy, water and food for production. The increase in demand means that the industry contributes to #global warming, deforestation, poisonous fertilisers, excessive waste water, excessive feed production and of course animal cruelty. Overall, the #tourist holds much of the power when it comes to choosing what to eat and deciding to reduce your daily consumption of animal products is a wonderful way to be Eco-friendly. Many cultures embrace a vegetarian diet. #Travelling provides a unique opportunity to taste some of the best plant based cooking from around the world.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Enjoy the time you have when you are #travelling and don't stress out about the need to be Eco-friendly all the time. Focus on a few slight changes that you are willing to make, both at home and on the road and aim to form new habits each day.
How? Read a book or attend a book reading event, walk or ride a bicycle as much as possible or take a lesson in art, music or cooking. Treat yourself to some pampering at a local social enterprise like a beauty school or hair salon.
#9 Be Kind
Meeting people and making new friends is the best part of travel. When you travel be sure to be considerate of others in the community. #Encourage your family and friends to embrace more sustainable and ethical ideas when they travel! You might be surprised how many #travellers are as like-minded as you are.
In contrast, you may also find out how many people are not making a conscious effort to reduce their impact on the #earth. This can be frustrating especially if you are travelling long-term and know how easy it is to make the switch! Don't be disheartened - Remember that education is key; share your knowledge with others!
#10 Sign Up
Eco-friendly travel is gaining attention through social media, news, politics and travel companies. Advocate for #environmentally friendly choices to continue to be offered to tourists and encourage one another to make small but meaningful decisions when travelling.
Here are a few of my favourite options:
#1 Raise awareness through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
#2 Write a blog or contribute articles on responsible tourism. Join campaigns and sign petitions.
#3 You can ask to use a mailing list and go paperless.
#4 Choose tours, restaurants and accommodation that promotes minimal impact on the local environment.
#5 Don't be afraid to speak up for what you care for.
So that's it!
10 ways to make a difference as you travel. Have you tried any of these ideas?
Feel free to comment your Eco-friendly travel tips below with our readers!