Easy Ways to Become an Eco-Traveler
Being an eco-traveler is easy and incredibly important. Don't let your carbon footprint follow you around the world.
- July 10th 2017
- Samantha Lloyd
Traveling is a a seeming necessity of our generation, and is a pleasure for anyone who has the opportunity. Travel provides you the chance to experience a new culture, create memories, and even provides the potential to find the place you feel most at home. We have been fortunate enough to travel, but were always worried about our environmental impact on the country. There are many ways that a traveler can give back to their destination that are simple to manage on nearly any trip or vacation.
Lighting and Elements
Simple as you would at home: shut off your air conditioning, lighting, and unplug unused chargers when you’re out of the home. This is fair to the home or resort owners, as well as to the environment. Maintaining the tempurature of your home when you are out for the day wastes your money, the efficiency and lifespan of the air conditioning unit, and energy. Hopefully, this is already a habit you have formed from how you live at home!
Remember all the little things you do at home to conserve energy, and apply these when traveling.
There will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050, according to scientists’ predictions. While it is important to minimize plastic use, do not risk your health by consuming water that can make you sick. You need access to clean water - unclean water can absolutely ruin a trip and make you incredibly ill, and therefore bottled water is sometimes your only option on a trip to a place you’ve never been. Using a Brita filter bottle or a Lifestraw may not always be enough (but definitely look into it - they're making a huge impact), and that’s understandable. If you need to rely on bottled water, do not worry - just find another way to contribute! Do not use straws with your beverages. If you like sipping through a straw, try purchasing a reusable stainless steal straw and pack it along for your adventures. It’ll take up no space in your pack, and saves the planet quite a lot of mess.
Try going to the markets or shopping local when you're on vacation - local foods is what you came for anyways, isn’t it? Our favourite experience with food when traveling to Curacao, Barbados, and Norway was the amount of fresh, local-caught fish available from small fish markets. The price was less than the cost of shopping at a grocery store and it was so delicious. You can buy your American brands anywhere - eat local to support the community (your tastebuds won’t regret it!).
Get involved in the local events that are happening. If you’re lucky enough to travel during festivals, you will be able to connect with the community and learn more about the culture. Gaining an appreciation for the country you’ve visited and its people is incredibly important.
While in the country, you have the option to rent a vehicle, a scooter or vespa, take transit, bike or walk. Look into your eco options! If you cannot avoid renting a car for your trip, opt for a small or electric car. Get around via bike or transit where you can. Nothing beats walking around a new city, too.
When you’re abroad a great way to show your support is to volunteer. Whenever we do a dive or snorkel or are just on the beach we always pick up trash and help keep the place clean. It doesn’t have to be an official volunteer effort to be helpful. However, you can always look into local animal shelters, tree planting initiatives, or dive clean-ups if you want some formality to it.
Record your eco-efforts on your next adventure - we'd love to see them #ecofam!