13 Ways to be a Better Traveller & Preserve the Environment
On April 22nd we celebrate the Earth Day. To commemorate this date we power off our homes, plant trees, and join community cleanup events … The point is what we can do every day to help preserve the environment and be a good citizen of this planet? As a frequent traveller, this was one question that was keeping my mind busy for a while. What are the ways to be a better traveller and preserve the environment at the same time? Here are some suggestions I try to incorporate into my travel style.
1 – Do your own eco-snacks
One much healthier and budget friendly option for eating during travel is to prepare your eco-friendly snacks. Cut veggies and fruits into bite size pieces and store them in boxes or zip lock plastic bags. Nuts are another great alternative and if you find time to make your own energy bars before the trip you can be sure that your travel is eco-friendly and your diet stays healthy.
2 – Use nature-friendly clothing
Cottons are my favorite. They are easy to wash, hygienic and pleasant to wear. As opposite of polyester, which is not biodegradable, you can use also flax, tencel or hemp clothing.
3 – Explore places by walking
Avoid using transport if you can walk. The best explorations are made on foot and walking is one simple way to keep the environment clean.
4 – Be cautious with wildlife activities
What is more important – living in a healthy, natural world or taking a photo of your riding an elephant? Be aware of the consequences of your tourist actions, most of the times the fulfillment of your travel dreams is on the detriment of the wildlife.
5 – Stick to the local food
Buy food from the local market and stick to the traditional restaurants while visiting a destination. Most of the times the products used in the traditional cuisines are produced locally.
6 – Buy only practical stuff
While on a vacation buy things that you can wear, eat or use in some other practical way. In this way they have double use – remind you of your good travel time but also help you in some way during your daily life. Keep the same principle when buying gifts.
7 – Contribute to the local economy and environment
You can do this by buying local handmade crafts, produced by local craftsmen with local materials. Do not EVER purchase products made from endangered animals or plants.
8 – Use public transport
Use public transport wherever possible and reasonable.
9 – Be savvy with the bottled water
There are many destinations where the tap water is totally drinkable. Some of these are Japan, France and Bulgaria. However, there are places where bottled water is absolute necessity – such as in Moldova.
10 – Try to use eco-friendly accommodations
When searching for places to stay, give priority to the eco-lodges and other eco-friendly accommodation options.
11 – Try to avoid plastic
Same like during your usual daily life at home, try to avoid any possible use of plastic material while traveling the world. It is not always possible or practical but small changes and conscious use can make huge difference.
12 – Travel alone or in a small group
When you travel alone or in a small group of people it is much easier to keep nature-friendly travel lifestyle. It is easier to influence the attitude of the others and to inspire them to become better travelers and to think ‘green’ more often.
13 – Leave no trace
We are children of the nature. Nature does not belong to us, we belong to Nature. When you leave your hotel room, camp side, local farm or any other place you had the chance to visit, try to “leave no trace”. That is to say, try producing as less as possible waste and leave the place in the same way it was before your arrival.
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