Travelling opens the mind and opens the heart. But as you rack up the air-miles exploring this beautiful planet you also create a massive carbon footprint.
So what can we eco-conscious travellers do to lessen the impact?
Aside from choosing airlines that offset their carbon footprint, we can make little changes that really will make a huge difference to protect our earth.
Here’s are my 5 easy tips to ease your conscience and will save you a few pennies in the long-run too!
Get yourself some bamboo cutlery. Street food is a must if you want to experience a culture fully, but all too often, it comes with plastic cutlery. A bamboo set is lightweight, easy to clean and plane friendly so you can use it in-flight as well as out and about on the road. I use the sturdy set below, it comes in a roll up wallet that slips easily into my bag and it also has a cute straw – great for cocktails in the sun! And it has a 2 year guarantee so I know it will last for quite a few trips.
I can guzzle away guilt free in more ways than one, as everyone knows that calories don’t count when you are on a trip!
Use the public transport. It can be really daunting getting on busy public transport in a brand new place where there is a language barrier, but a little research before your trip can help you to familiarise yourself with the process and build your confidence.
Take a note pad with your researched information containing bus and platform numbers, metro lines etc and record how many stops there are from your starting point to your destination, that way you can count your way along the route if there are no signs or you cannot understand the announcements.
It is exhilarating travelling this way, loads cheaper than a taxi and you get a slice of ‘real’ life in the country you are in.
Take your water bottle with you. Get yourself a sturdy refillable bottle and download the free ‘Refill’ app, which tells you where there are over 14,000 refill stations in the UK and 1000’s more across Europe.
If 1 in 10 people refilled their bottle just once a week, there would be 34,000 less plastic bottles in circulation over the year!
Don’t use the hotel laundry as they often wash each guest’s clothes in an separate individual wash, even if it is just one garment! Washing by hand in the hotel bath or sink does the job and saves a whole heap of water and electricity. It isn’t glamorous, but it is free.
Reduce the amount of products you take. All too often I have taken a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel on a trip, used over half the bottle and not wanted to bring the rest home in case of leaks and wanting the space in my bag for souvenirs and gifts. Many countries don’t have the recycling facilities we have, so the plastic ends up in landfill. Try using a shampoo bar, or even taking one quality soap for everything. I discovered an amazing soap in France, which unfortunately isn’t available in this country, so I bulk buy every time I go (along with the crates of wine!). It is an olive oil soap which I use for my hair and body, reducing plastic at home and away. And soap generally lasts way longer than a bottle of shampoo and shower gel, so it saves money, and if you buy a quality soap they have much fewer, and purer ingredients than in bottled stuff. Bonus!
How do you travel in an eco-conscious and sustainable way? I’d love to hear your tips on being a green traveller.