Although the health of our planet seems to be in its worst state ever, many of us are becoming more environmentally conscious than we ever have. This means choosing to reuse, reduce, and recycle. It also means reducing our amount of waste. Additionally, it means cutting down on our energy use, choosing more eco-friendly materials, and reducing our shower time.
But when you’re traveling, caring for the planet becomes more of a challenge. After all, your time may be more limited, and you may find that being environmentally conscious is the last thing on your mind during your trip. Not to mention, it can seem more inconvenient during your travels.
Rest assured that there are many ways you can care for Earth, no matter where you’re at. Here are some tips:
1. Choose the fewest flights possible.
The longer your destination is, there’s a chance that you’ll have to take more than one flight there and back. But if you can go for one flight or multiple flights over a shorter distance, you’re playing your part in reducing carbon emissions. At the very least, you can even opt for other forms of transportation that are less harmful for the environment than taking a plane.
2. Walk around your travel destination or ride a bike instead of taking a bus or taxi.
Although there may be times where taking transportation will be the most convenient and time-saving option, there are times where you can opt for walking or bike-riding instead.
Besides being better for the planet, walking versus opting for other means of transportation is incredibly beneficial for our health. According to the Center for American Progress, walking can lead to stronger bones and joints, less depression, chronic arthritis relief, better blood pressure, a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes, and an extended lifespan.
3. Bring reusable water bottles.
When we travel, most of us bring bottled water or other drinks with us to quench our thirst. The more eco-friendly thing to do is to bring a stainless water bottle filled with your favorite beverages or filtered water. This will save you from purchasing/bringing plastic bottles, or at least reduce the amount you’ll need to purchase, for the duration of your trip.
You can also bring reusable straws and reusable cutlery.
4. Don’t stop recycling.
These days, recycling is almost as easy as throwing things in the garbage. Almost everywhere you go, you might just find a recycling bin or a recycling facility somewhere in town. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you should skip out on recycling!
5. Respect the wildlife and local habitat.
Often, we choose to travel to a location where the wildlife may differ from where we’re from. But just like we must respect the wildlife where we live, it’s imperative to respect the wildlife while traveling. But unlike what we often do to our pet dogs, feeding wildlife food scraps is a big no-no!
Not only can feeding environmentally-important wildlife “human” food be dangerous for them, but feeding them can encourage animal crowding and competition, which can result in fighting. Helping remain harmony in the animal kingdom is vital for a safer, happier, well-balanced Earth.
You can also visit or volunteer at an animal sanctuary or animal rescue, like the Holbox Animal Rescue or Progreso Raccoon Rescue in Mexico.
Also consider the local environment. Use reef-safe sunscreen when you visit the beaches. Reef-safe sunscreen is not only better for the environment, but safer for you as well.
Get more great travel tips from the inspire4travel website.
We know how difficult it can be to be kind to the environment. The good news is, even when you’re traveling, there are many ways you can play your part. It’s not just about finding good ways to help Planet Earth but also being more conscious of how you’re already treating it and then working backwards to eliminate or reduce the harm you contribute to the environment.
Those are some great ideas. I don’t get to travel much, but I do use many of these at home.
Great tips. When we travel I always try to be responsible as much as I can. And I’m teaching my children to care about wildlife and environment.
Being aware is where it starts. Thank you for being responsible and making others aware by writing this article.
We are all trapped in our daily lives and are so far away from being aware of what are the results of our choices.
Traveling is about getting to know other cultures and see beautiful things; usually in nature. Being conscious about what it takes to get us there and what we leave at these special places is a great start to eco-friendly travel.
Making informed decisions by researching, asking the right questions and not only looking for the cheapest options available is an important part of the preparation before you explore new territories.
Apparently you choose to rent a tricycle at the archaeological zone of Coba (picture) in Mexico. They also offer bikes, but by choosing to hire someone you supported the local community, which is as well an essential part of eco-tourism.
Eventually (not only when traveling) it is all about our choices. Choosing a plastic bag over bringing your own shopping bag, choosing a plastic single-use bottle over a reusable one. There are many more examples where we have the choice to make a difference in our daily life. Did you know that your choice of shampoo has an impact on coral reef systems, even if you are living hundreds or thousands of miles away from the ocean?
As Natalie is stating in an earlier comment, sharing and educating this knowledge with younger generations is as important as actually taking care of these things.
Thank you for your blog-post. Thank you for taking care of our planet.
Great list of tips! I often enjoy walking or renting bikes when I travel to new places since it’s a great way to see the town. Saving this post for my next adventure after COVID-19!