How to be responsible to the environment with green traveling is about adopting green practices to reduce the circulation of chemicals like carbon and plastics, which can destroy the environment. If you practice green at home, you should also carry on your practices when you are traveling abroad.
It’s hard being off your schedule and your routine. So start small. Think of something that you value most and see how you can work that into your travel plan. Perhaps it’s cooking more at home instead of eating in restaurants. If so, opt to stay in a place with a small kitchen. If you want to minimize plastic consumption, pack a reusable shopping bag and carry a reusable water bottle.
It’s easier to travel green when visiting the most environmentally friendly cities but you can do something anywhere you go. Doing so allows you to contribute your part to the environment by reducing your carbon footprint while traveling. Here are some eco-friendly things you can do to consider the environment as you travel.
How to Consider the Environment with Green Traveling
Choose a Green Destination
Certain cities and countries are more green than others. Plan a green vacation from the start by choosing an eco-friendly city. They typically have high walkability scores and excellent public transportation. Many of the attractions will be cultural and there are often parks and nature spaces to enjoy.
You can also plan a volunteering vacation through a WWOOF host where you exchange working on an organic farm in exchange for lodging and food. Also consider a backpacking or camping vacation. If you are considering a cruise, choose a green cruise line.
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Avoid Taking Public Transportation that Emit Carbon Dioxide
When commuting around the city, you should try to avoid taking transportation that emit carbon dioxide such as buses, taxi cabs, Lyfts, Ubers, motorbikes. and rental cars. Instead, use a transportation that moves without releasing carbon dioxide emission. Some examples are a tram or bicycle to save energy.
It is also more convenient to travel on bicycle in a big city where traffic jam frequently occurs. Many cities have bikes you can rent and leave along the street to use as you wish. Some cities are more suitable for cycling than others. Consider traveling to one of the many friendly bike cities which will have bike lanes and be overall easier to get from place to place.
Buy a Large Bottled Water
If you can’t pack a reusable water bottle with you, buy a large bottle of water that you can refill throughout your trip. Even though it will be plastic, it can be your only bottled water purchase. In this way, you can keep refilling your flask with water for several days without having to buy the smaller plastic bottled water that is 1.5L.
You can check and see if your hotel has any recycling program. If they do not have any recycling program, you can take your wastes to dispose it in the nearby recycle bin. When recycling, always look at the label on the recycle bin to see what type of wastes you should put in. For example, you should only put in plastic wastes in a recycle bin for plastic.
Buy Sustainable Souvenirs and Products Made of Recycled Materials
When shopping on holiday, look for sustainable souvenirs made by local craftspeople and artisans. Also look for products that are made from recycled materials. Your purchase is also creating a demand for recycled programs which will prevent those materials from being sent to the landfill.
It will help to conserve space from the landfill and prevent it from becoming full. Landfills that are full and overloaded with rubbish can become contagious and spread germs to the surrounding environment.
Turn Off Unused Light to Conserve Energy
In the hotel room, there are usually a lot of lights such as bedside lamps, light above the desk, bathroom light and light above the TV. You should only turn on the lights that you use. Before leaving the hotel room, turn off all lights to conserve the energy. Conserve the air conditioning when you leave the room as well by keeping it warmer than you would if you were there. It will cool off quickly when you return.
Take a Shorter Shower
When taking a bath at the hotel or motel, shower quickly to avoid wasting water. When brushing your teeth, turn off the tap and only open it again when you want to gargle your mouth. When you are scrubbing your hands with soap, turn the tap off. Learn other ways to use less water when traveling.
Use Electronic Tickets to Check in Your Flight
All online airline booking systems let people use electronic tickets to travel. The ticket can be texted to the phone or can be downloaded from the internet onto the phone. This is convenient. Using electronic tickets is better than using print tickets as you are helping to save paper and eliminating the need to recycle it.
Instead of guidebooks and maps, use your phone. There are excellent eco apps to choose from. Instead of buying books for your trip, use your local library to check out ebooks.
Carry a Recycled Shopping Bag with You
If you are visiting countries that use plastic bags, make sure to always carry an eco-friendly shopping bag with you. You can put all the stuff you buy into the eco-friendly shopping bag instead of using the plastic bags they provide. If you forget to pack yours, consider how much shopping you will be doing and buy one the first time you buy something and need a bag.
A common sense to be green is to avoid throwing rubbish anywhere except in a trash or recycling receptacle. If you can’t find a public trash can, carry your garbage with you until you find one.
Littering can produce a bad impact on the area – they make the place look dirty and create health hazard for other tourists. Animals can accidentally eat them and die as a result of intestine blockage.
Use a Solar Charger to Charge Your Phone
Solar chargers are small and mighty. Bring one if you will be going to a sunny climate to charge up your electronics. It’s particularly ideal if you will be camping, RVing, or somewhere long enough for the solar charger to charge up.
Stay at a Green Hotel
You can opt to stay in an LEED certified hotel or eco-friendly, green hotel that use renewable resources. All their cleaning products are made from green materials. They also have options for guests who prefer not to change their bed sheets every day.
There are various types of certification programs that certified a green hotel such as LEED certified, Green Key Global, and Green Seal.
Join a Green Tour Company
If you are joining a tour, you might want to opt for a green tour company. The green tour company can introduce you to green products during the trip. They will help the tourists to contribute to the environment during the travel. Green tour companies respect the flora/fauna and promote ethical practices.
Dine in a Local Restaurant
When hungry, you should visit the local restaurants to taste their cuisine and help in reducing carbon footprint at the same time. When searching for a restaurant, look for one that uses local produce to cook the dishes.
Choose mom-and-pop-style restaurants over chains, restaurants that use organic ingredients, and seek out restaurants or resorts with farm to table restaurants when possible. When ordering, choose sustainable seafood, etc.
How to Make Your Travel More Environmentally Friendly
More and more individuals are starting environmentally friendly living, and thankfully, businesses and governments the world over have followed suit as well. Alternative sources of energy like hydro, solar panels, and wind turbines are all being developed and operated.
Conservation lifestyle changes and practices you do at home — such as growing food in your backyard — can often transfer over to when you travel. Buy local fruits and vegetables; eat at local, organic restaurants; stop at a market and enjoy a picnic.
Using modes of transportation with lower emissions such as solar-powered cars and buses and the reduction, recycling, using less water and reusing of waste materials are becoming more commonplace. Not to mention manufacturing and patronizing eco-friendly products in commercial and residential establishments.