“Zero waste” is a major lifestyle trend of the 21st century, and the shift can’t come soon enough. This is a movement with the goal of producing the least amount of waste possible in all walks of life, whether that be at home or on the go. If you are looking to respect the environment during your travels, here are five different ways to become an eco-friendly traveler, and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Planning and Booking
Visiting destinations committed to reducing waste definitely ensures that consumers will follow suit. When planning your next trip, research locations that offer modern environmental services, and are moving towards responsible practices. Your choice of airline can also impact your zero-waste goals, like certain airlines which are plastic-free, and by promoting them, you can embrace zero-waste travel.
- Packing For Your Trip
Packing your own headphones, blanket, and eye-mask for flights can help to minimize in-flight waste. Avoid carrying single-use toiletries and stick to eco-friendly ones. Bring reusable travel straws, cups, silverware and water bottles to avoid unnecessary waste. Waste management is a major issue in many developing countries, and travelers often unknowingly add to this problem. Say no to plastic bags from shops and carry your items in a backpack instead.
- Opt for Eco-Friendly Accomodations and Boutique Hotels
In the past few years, it has become much easier to find eco-friendly accommodations that are dedicated to supporting the local environment with environmentally friendly practices. When traveling, look for an eco-conscious hotel or a property that gives you details on how it prioritizes environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding plastics, using natural cleaning products, practicing recycling and composting, etc. The staff in these locations are usually into sustainable living and are well-informed about the sustainability and environmental issues associated with the area. They will be able to guide you on how you can best spend your time while also serving the host community.
- Use Public Transport, Walk or Rent Bikes When Exploring New Locations
When moving around, reduce your carbon footprint by staying away from taxis and rental cars, and using public transport instead. Most large cities have well-connected buses and metro systems that you can put to good use during your travels. Another means of transport that is environmentally friendly is traveling on a bicycle, with many cities now supporting cheap bike-rental apps that make renting a bike as easy as a few clicks on your cellphone. Or, why not explore using the cheapest and healthiest option for transportation; walking!
- Choose Locally Produced and Sourced Authentic Food
Use your travel time to explore foods that you may not have access to back home. Eating locally and supporting local food production is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling. Furthermore, you end up encouraging more local foods to remain in the area.
Now that you are equipt with some tips to help you minimize your environmental footprint while traveling, why not try to embrace zero-waste travel the next time you head out for a holiday?