Travel is one industry that takes a significant toll on the environment. Between dense crowds, littering tourists, and the carbon dioxide emissions from planes, it’s sure that there’s no escaping the impact. However, there are many easy ways to be an eco-friendly and earth conscious traveler. April is Earth Month, and as the month comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to discover all the ways to make your travels create less waste. Keep reading to find out some of the simplest and most effective decisions that lessen your impact on the planet.
# 1 – Plan Ahead
Planes are a massive source of carbon dioxide emissions, and they emit the most toxins during take-offs and landings. By planning your trip further ahead or spending a little more time looking for flights, you are able to choose the least impactful flight options. Non-stop flights create the least harm to the environment overall. Plus, if it’s not absolutely necessary to fly, planning ahead leaves you the option of driving or finding another transportation option. Every form of transportation has its own impact, but flying is by far the worst.
# 2 – Save Water
Plastic water bottles are one of the biggest sources of plastic waste, and travelers are notorious for buying plenty of them. In countries where the drinking water isn’t safe, purchasing plastic bottles of water certainly seems like the most convenient option. However, there’s a better way that is not only more environmentally conscious but also a lot cheaper and overall easier for any traveler. Packing a refillable water bottle with a built-in filter or with a small handheld filter avoids the need to buy new bottles constantly. With this small purchase, any traveler is able to avoid constant spending and a huge contribution to the world’s plastic waste problem.
# 3 – Always Refill
Plastic water bottles aren’t the only source of plastic that travelers constantly use. Travel-sized amenities and to-go food options are also a big part of the average traveler’s life. The solution is to always pick products that are refillable or biodegradable. Choose hygiene products without packaging or pack your items from home in small containers. When it comes to food, healthier options like fruits and vegetables are easy low-waste choices. Plus, packing simple items like handkerchiefs and reusable containers means that you can keep any leftovers, buy items in bulk, and easily pack food in your luggage.
# 4 – Be Respectful
Some of the most environmentally degraded areas in the world are also the most traveled. Often, popular party areas and tourist hotspots become full of litter and discarded items. Don’t forget to treat any destination as if it was your own home. Littering seems easy if everyone else is doing it, so make an effort to pick up some trash and not contribute to the problem. Even small things like left-behind cans or food packaging end up building up and causing significant problems. These choices can lead to unforeseen environmental consequences. Overall, be sure to leave beaches and forests at least as clean, or cleaner, than they were when you arrived.
In conclusion, there’s no way to avoid having an impact on the environment, whether you’re an avid traveler or not. But, as a traveler, appreciating the earth and all it has to offer is an important thing to consider. Making a couple of small changes helps to offset your ecological footprint and contribute to keeping the planet healthy. It’s all about being mindful of the waste you create, making an effort to clean up the environment, and respecting all the destinations you visit.