To make it easy for you, I listed ten tips for a sustainable trip. Apply these tips to your next travel adventure and become a sustainable traveler!
1. Take the train or bus
There are many places to explore which can be reached by train or bus. Maybe it will take a little longer before you arrive at your destination, but as you might have heard before: it is all about the journey and not the destination. So just see the train or bus ride as part of your trip and enjoy the fact that your carbon emission stays low!
2. Only fly long distances
Flying is something you should avoid as much as possible, since it is extremely polluting. Only fly when you travel to far destinations, where you will stay for a longer time. Economy flying is better for the environment (and your wallet) than business class.
3. Travel CO2 neutral
Climate change is the main environmental problem we are facing today. Everything you do to lower your carbon emissions is thus of great importance! Luckily there are nowadays many options to compensate your CO2 emissions to organisations who plant trees or invest in renewable energy. An example is My Climate.
4. Bring your own refillable water bottle
You might have seen it yourself or via photos: the plastic soup in our oceans. The longer the plastic stays in the water, the smaller the plastic parts become. Animals can get stuck in it or can die because they eat it. There is a simple solution: don’t buy plastic bottles, use your own water bottle!
5. Buy at second hand and local shops
You don’t have to buy something new as a souvenir. In second hand shops you often find the most beautiful things, and by buying a second hand souvenir you help the environment. Someone else’s trash can be your treasure! If you want to support the local community and buy something special in, you should go to a local shop on your trip.
6. Do not litter
It is not going to get more simple as this. Throw your trash in the trash can or recycle bin. Be even more aware when you are in nature. Don’t leave anything behind during your trip.
7. Explore while hiking/mountain biking/sailing. Be active!
Although it can be super fun to go on a jet ski trip or take the scooter to explore the area, these activities are harmful for the environment. Luckily there are many alternatives that are as (or even more) fun. Put on your hiking shoes, get on that bike or rent a sailing boat. It’s good for our earth and for your body!
8. Respect holy places/rules of indigenous people
You might have heard of backpackers posing naked for photos at the Angkor temple, Uluru or Kinabalu mountain. This is disrespectful and offending to the local people and their cultures and religions. Please don’t do this! If you visit a country or an area with a different culture, read about it before you go there so you know what to do and what not.
9. Choose an eco-friendly stay
I am sure you will sleep a lot better in a hostel or hotel that tries to keep its carbon footprint low, that knows what recycling is and that contributes to the local community.
10. Buy natural sun screen
Using sun screen is important to protect your skin, but normal sunscreens contain chemicals that harm fish, sea mammals and the coral reefs. When buying a new sunscreen for your next trip, be extra aware and buy one without toxic chemicals.