Travel Smarter, Not Harder: Tips for the Eco-Conscious Traveler
Here at Custom Earth Promos we have talked about all kinds of eco-friendly travel topics. From modes of transportation, to apps that help lower your carbon footprint, to airlines, to boats, to vacations you can take, there are a million ways to explore eco-friendly travel. These topics are all about the act of traveling and things to do, but what if you, as the traveler, don't know how to keep your footprint low and you are traveling with the earth in mind?
Sustainable travel doesn't have to be exclusive to certain conscious travelers--those who can afford expensive, eco-friendly vacation destinations or the most expensive, eco-friendly luggage. We can all do our part in helping reduce our carbon footprint when we go across the globe.
Air travel tends to be a passenger's biggest "carbon dump." More than eight million people catch flights every day! Even simple things you may not think about, such as asking for fresh hotel towels daily, waste huge amounts of water. This also lets huge amounts of laundry detergent and soaps into our water systems. We also know plastic is estimated to take more than 500 years to decompose, and landfills are the last thing we want to gift to our children.
If you need to visit relatives this holiday season, here are some simple tips to help you offset travel trash and have good environmental karma.
Instead of purchasing an endless supply of toiletries, bath and beauty products, keep a stash on hand. Have reusable bottles and pots that you can refill each time you need to go away. Buying products in bulk not only saves money, but it cuts down on plastic. One large plastic bottle is better than one hundred small ones. You can also take an eco-conscious travel towel. These towels are very thin, packing lighter and drying quickly. They are also kind to your skin and take less water to clean.
Purchase Eco-Friendly Products
There are plenty of brands today that let you help save the environment. They aren't just easy on the earth, but on your wallet too. You can buy eco-friendly versions of almost everything, from mosquito repellent, to human shampoo, to conditioner, to dog shampoo, to deodorant, to sunscreen, to makeup, to clothing, to shoes, to accessories. We recommend checking out these bags to pack with, and frequent flyers can always have water with them--don't pay airport prices!
Rechargeable, solar recharging, and wind-up items are much better for the environment than products with batteries. LED bulbs are much better for the environment and last so much longer than regular incandescent light bulbs. These two facts are good to keep in mind for items such as flashlights, shavers, and lamps. You can help keep bills low by turning off switches when leaving rooms, unplugging things that won't be used for a while, not leaving taps running, and only running the washing machine when it's full. Be respectful not only of your own wallet but also the host's.
Going somewhere local? By using modes of transportation such as public transportation, shared ride services, bicycles, or even just walking, your carbon footprint will be significantly lower. Are your relatives just too far away for that? If you have to jump on a plane, see if you can apply for e-tickets. By not printing anything out and using a digital version instead, you save ink, paper, energy, money, time, effort, and trees. This should be available through most airlines.
Eat Close to Home
Eat and drink local. Sometimes we think about all of the miles we take, but there is a concept called "food miles." Food miles are the miles it takes your food to get from the farm to you, be that the grocery store or your plate. Ideally, your food and/or beverages will not only be made close to where they are being consumed, but will also be fresh, healthy, and sustainably farmed. If you can, try to eat as many plant based meals as you can. Meat isn't great for the environment. If you are a carnivore and just can't avoid it? Chicken is the most sustainable meat available.