Traveling is a hobby that a lot of young people enjoy. In fact, previous surveys have found that millennials, in particular, would rather spend their money on a vacation rather than on a designer product.
It’s not a bad way to spend your money. Traveling opens your mind to new ideas and pushes you out of your comfort zone. Plus, the memories that you make when traveling are sure to last a lifetime.
However, traveling can be bad for the environment. Tourists are responsible for a lot of garbage in popular spots such as beaches, parks, and monuments. Transportation, either through a plane or a private vehicle, also released a lot of smoke and greenhouse gases, exacerbating both air pollution and climate change. In addition, hotels have a massive carbon footprint.
You don’t have to cancel all your travel plans to care for the planet. You only need to follow this guide to ensure that your vacation affects the environment as little as possible.
Bring a Reusable Water Bottle Everywhere You Go
It’s always a good idea to have a reusable water bottle on you when you go out. Not only is it a lot safer than using a plastic water bottle, but it keeps you away from buying cases of mineral water. If you’re going on a hike or on some other strenuous activity where dehydration is likely, bring an even larger container so that you have enough water to last the entire day.
Pick a Hotel With Environmental Leadership or a Green Partnership
It’s not just your own hotel room that has an impact on the environment. Your decision also affects how staff members treat the building and how cleaners manage waste disposal. There are also hotels that generate their own electricity because they have solar panels installed. That’s why it’s important to choose a hotel with environmental leadership or at least one that has a green partnership with another company.
That way, there is someone else who takes care of the environment for you.
Pack Your Own Meals When You’re on Vacation
Eating out all the time is expensive and bad for your waistline, but it can be terrible for Mother Earth too. Restaurants produce tons of garbage every day. By taking your own food, either in a lunchbox or cooler, you reduce the amount of garbage produced produce.
Skip Taxis and Uber When You’re On Vacation
Taking taxis is relatively affordable compared to renting a car, but they’re not sustainable at all. If you really want to save money while traveling, skip the taxi rides and walk instead. Biking isn’t feasible everywhere so if biking isn’t an option then take public transportation which can often work out cheaper than taking a taxi anyway.
Take Your Trash With You
Plastic bags are bad for the environment. They take hundreds of years to decompose, and they release toxic chemicals into the soil as they do. By properly disposing of your trash, you’re preventing it from ending up in the ocean or forests where wild animals can mistake it for food.
Make Sure That Your Tour Company Is Responsible
Whether it’s through their staff training, purchasing standards, or environmental policies, tour companies have some impact on the planet too. Make sure they care enough about the planet by choosing a company with good values and high standards. Don’t be afraid to ask them where they source their materials from or if they have any environmental policies. You can also witness their efforts yourself by visiting the local area where the tours take place and seeing if there is any litter or pollution. Even better, ask about how they train their staff because responsible tour guides treat the environment as if it’s their own home too!
Build Your Own Sustainable Vacation Kit
If you want to reduce waste when you travel, try building your own sustainable vacation kit. Here are what you need:
-A reusable waterproof bag for bathing suits and towels
-Travel size toiletries made from recyclable materials
-A reusable foldable water bottle or steel water bottle
-Organic shampoo/conditioner bar
These are just some things that you can pack in your kit. This will prevent you from having to buy necessities at your destination or use the free products at the hotel which will only end up in a landfill.
Traveling can be a great way to see the world and experience new cultures, but it also has an impact on Mother Earth. If you make some small changes in your travel routine then this will have a positive effect on the environment.