When you are focused on leading an environmentally conscious lifestyle, you will most likely find that your priorities start to shift a little. As you start to realize how damaging common behaviors can be, you began to find ways to avoid harming the environment. This is especially important while travelling because a lot of people use vacationing as an excuse for generating a lot of waste. If you care about the environment, make sure to follow green travel tips and avoid these 7 things on your journey.
1. Getting fresh towels each day
Most hotels will wash your towel and bring you a new one each day, but this generates a lot of waste water. You do not normally wash your towel after each use at home, so there is no reason to do this while traveling either. Typically, a hotel will not give you another towel as long as you leave yours on the rack. If you are unsure about their towel policy though, you can always ask at the front desk or leave a note asking that your towel is not switched out.
2. Purchasing problematic souvenirs
Sadly, the production of souvenirs is one of the biggest environmental impacts of tourism. Cheaply made plastic goods like key chains or sunglasses lead to a great deal of pollution during production in massive factories, and they end up getting tossed in the trash after they break. A lot of souvenirs are also made from endangered materials like animal skins, coral, or ivory. Try to avoid any questionably produced souvenirs by only getting artisanal products made locally from sustainable and eco friendly materials.
3. Flying everywhere
The carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by a plane is incredibly damaging so you may want to consider other modes of transport such as train, bus and even a caravan if you are certain it produces less greenhouse emissions. Though it is not always possible, driving can be an eco-friendly choice compared with flying. Of course, to further improve fuel efficiency and therefore, sustainability, make sure to check that your caravan is roadworthy and ensure that tyre pressure is checked. Even better is if you can convince a lot of people to carpool with you so you all avoid getting plane tickets and the subsequent carbon emissions that result from flying.
4. Eating at fast food restaurants
Massive fast food franchises tend to generate a lot of waste and pollution because they are just focused on churning out a lot of mediocre unhealthy food quickly. Instead of products wrapped in piles of styrofoam and plastic, check out the local farmers market for freshly made items. Not only does this use less packaging than frozen foods shipped around the world and reheated, but it is also far tastier.
5. Hailing a Cab Constantly
When you are in a big city, it is tempting to just take taxis everywhere instead of trying to figure out the local bus or train system. However, countless studies have found that public transportation is the best way to avoid increasing harmful emissions. If you take the time to learn about the local area's public transportation, you can get to know the town while avoiding hurting the environment.
Related Post: How to Minimise the Impact of Your Daily Commute
6. Getting your room cleaned daily
When a housekeeper comes into your hotel room to clean it, they normally wipe down surfaces, put in new trash bags, and give you more of those tiny little hotel soaps and shampoos. However, unless you are an extraordinarily messy person, all of this cleaning is not necessary. When you are learning how to avoid plastic, you quickly realize that a lot of unnecessary cleaning causes issues. All of those disposable items quickly add up to a massive amount of waste. Hang the "do not disturb" sign on your door to avoid the wasteful cleaning.
7. Using Global Roaming Options
In the modern world, having a working cell (mobile) phone often seems like a necessity, but you may be surprised that there is a bigger cost than just paying extra if you use global roaming data. This sort of service requires a lot of outsourcing and building phone towers in environmentally damaging locations to ping your phone signal all the way around the world. Not only is it more affordable, but buying a local SIM card also helps to reduce your environmental impact.
Travelling is always a great opportunity to increase your horizons, and this is especially true when you are an eco-traveller. It may be slightly more difficult to avoid waste and encourage green practices as you travel, but it is also very rewarding. Just by planning ahead and making wise choices, you can save the earth while seeing new places.