How to Travel Green | 10 Tips to become a Green Traveler
You may be thinking - what is green travel? Green travel is a facet of sustainable tourism that involves making conscious choices to reduce your carbon footprint while exploring the globe.
Don’t worry, green travel doesn’t mean that you need to bike all the way over to Asia, or ditch your YachtLife sailing to sack up in a tent instead. We’ve come up with 10 mega simple tips you can follow to become a green traveler and support sustainable tourism - all while exploring the adventure travel destinations on your bucket list!
SAY NO TO STRAWS
It only takes a second to tell your server/bartender that you don’t need a straw in your drink; that one decision can make a lasting impact on the amount of plastic waste on the surrounding beautiful beaches. Not only will it impact your drink, but you will place that idea in the minds of those serving your drinks that straws are not necessary, and it may impact how they serve those after you. There are options out there for those who require straws, including these collapsible reusable metal straws you can travel with.
We’re looking at you Thailand - we know how much you love to throw ten thousand straws in a single bucket. Let’s all support green travel in Thailand by learning how to say NO to straws, and luckily these two cuties want to show you how to support sustainable tourism instead:
BRING A REUSABLE CONTAINER
We totally get it that you will want to pack-up any extra pad thai on your Thaiventure, or Nasi Goreng on a Bali Discovery tour - as you should! To avoid creating extra unnecessary styrofoam trash, either ask for a compostable container or travel with your own eco friendly stainless steel tins. They are super lightweight, and easy enough to throw into your bag for the day - bonus, it will keep your food nice and warm should you wish to snack on it a little sooner than anticipated. ;)
HANG A DO NOT DISTURB SIGN ON YOUR ROOM
You don’t wash your towels or bed linens every day at home, so why would you need it while travelling? Choose the green travel route and hang the do not disturb sign on your door to avoid excess washing and electrical usage unless it’s absolutely necessary.
CARRY A REUSABLE SHOPPING BAG
This is such an easy, green travel item to have with you that can be used multiple times over. A cloth bag can be your beach bag, your shopping bag at the market, your carry-on for the plane… so many things! Just one of these bad boys can save the planet from hundreds of single-use plastic bags on your Taste of Southeast Asia tour.
TURN OFF YOUR A/C AND LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING
Before you head off to go explore Halong Bay on your Vietnam Explorer tour, make sure to turn off the air conditioning and all lights from your room to avoid using excess electricity and support sustainable tourism.
BRING A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
Since you cannot drink the tap water in Thailand, Bali, the Philippines or Vietnam, it’s very important that you keep yourself hydrated in these hot climates with clean water. What we recommend is that you source a reusable container that purifies all water for you, such as the LifeStraw Go Bottle, so you don’t have to search for clean water or buy multiple plastic bottles throughout your trip. This is by far the most efficient method we’ve found in sourcing clean water for long-term green travel, particularly in Southeast Asia.
BOOK NON-STOP FLIGHTS
Did you know that it’s actually the airplane’s takeoffs and landings that produce the largest amounts of carbon emissions? The best option then for green travel is to purchase non-stop flights whenever possible in order to decrease your carbon footprint and support sustainable tourism.
SOURCE LOCALLY-MADE PRODUCTS
Not only will you be supporting local businesses, you will be reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing local products. Items that are made locally will have required less emissions to be produced and shipped. If you can purchase items straight from the maker (i.e., handmade products) then you are directly supporting them, their family and sustainable tourism. These items are genuinely the best to bring home as souvenirs, as they showcase the local culture and will be a nice reminder of your trip each time you look at it.
RESPECT THE CORAL REEF
When you head off on your snorkelling adventure on your Philippines Voyage, be sure to keep in mind how important it is to be mindful of the surrounding coral. By kicking up or damaging the coral, it can create long-term damage on reef’s fragile ecosystem.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE LOUD
What we mean by this, is don’t be afraid to educate other travellers on the importance of green travel. If you see someone continuously using single-use plastic bags, or buying multiple small plastic water bottles each day - call them out! This world isn’t going to improve unless everyone does their part, so don’t hold back on educating those who need it on the vitality of sustainable tourism.