5 Ways to Travel Green & Be a More Sustainable Traveler
For those with wanderlust ready to see the world, it's easy to add eco-friendly options to your itinerary - from transportation, what you pack, and even to the adventures you embark on. Traveling 'green' refers to responsible travel practices that pay attention to environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Read on to learn 5 ways to make your next adventure more sustainable from takeoff to the impact you leave behind.
1. Use an Eco-Friendly Booking Website or Sustainable Travel Agent
We live in a world making sustainable shifts everyday. Most cities have eco-friendly hotels or activities that educate on the environment and support the local community. You can find these opportunities and stays by online research or opt for eco-friendly booking sites like Bookdifferent! Just put in your destination and dates and they will show you a list of hotels & stays that they have checked for sustainable practices. You can select options by level of green practices and even see their carbon footprint.
Another option is opting for a sustainable travel agent like Lokal - creating amazing custom adventures that are good for people and the planet. From exploring the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala to spiritual ceremonies and exploring native villages with locals in Peru - there are endless unique adventures they can plan for you to immerse yourself in the culture and make a positive impact.
2. Pack Light & Sustainable
Being a sustainable traveler starts with what you pack. Today, most travel sized products & travel containers are plastic or contain toxins that can damage the Earth. No thanks! When packing, think about your travels and what you will actually need. Everyone tends to overpack but packing light not only saves you on your bag weight (a win!) but also allows you to waste less. Opt for clean products, a minimalistic wardrobe that can be mixed and matched, only the daily personal care items you need (if you don't use it everyday, you don't need it!), and of course reef-safe sunscreens just to name a few.
Products like Conscious Coconut Oil are packaged sustainably and replace 20+ daily products you would normally pack - so naturally it's an essential in our carry-on! Use it as a moisturizer, add it to your morning coffee for an energy boost, and soothe all things itchy, rashey, and red during adventures.
Shop Conscious Coconut TSA-Approved products here!
3. Offset Your Carbon Emissions
From international flights to cruise ships - actually getting to your travel destination can be the part of your trip out of your control when it comes to sustainability. Did you know 1,000 miles of air travel generates about 500 lbs of carbon emissions per passenger? Luckily, you can offset your carbon emissions from travel through companies like Terrapass. Your purchase funds projects like reforestation and farm power that reduce carbon emissions and provide green jobs in local communities.
If the option is available for you, trains emit the lowest levels of greenhouse gases - allowing for slow travel to enjoy the landscape and take some mindful time before exploring. Some other small transportation swaps can be opting for a sailing boat excursion rather than an engine-powered boat as well as an electric rental car.
4. Reduce Plastic Use During Travels
Whether you're ordering food on the beach or hitting the store for something you forgot to pack - plastic is everywhere. Similar to everyday life, it's important to prioritize sustainability and opt out of plastic. Many restaurants or delivery services allow you to omit from plastic utensils, have paper alternatives, and more. Luckily, many oceanside locations are mindful of plastic these days and have made significant shifts that protect their environment and make it easy to opt for sustainable options.
5. Buy Local
Travel is all about exploring new cultures - what better (and more sustainable!) way to dive into a community then to learn about and support local options? Not only are local spots always better, it's so important to help support the community you're visiting by buying local goods at small shops and hitting local markets or restaurants that are locally sourced. Most countries today depend on tourism for the economy, so it's important to give back when visiting. Typical tourist stores tend to import cheaply made goods with unethical labor practices, so be sure to avoid those spots when traveling green.