Eco-Travel Travel

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips and Ideas

Girl riding bicycle

Eco-Friendly Travel is a huge deal to me but a few years ago I never gave it a second thought.  The more I travel, the more I fall in love with the world.  As a result, I can’t stand to see what a mess we are making of the place.  I guess no one like to see something they love being treated badly.

Seriously, guys, we need to do better!

Plastic bottles floating in crystal clear water, drinking straws in the sand of otherwise perfect beaches, plastic bags tangled in branches of trees- it’s sad to see. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that so many people seem not to care. It is our responsibility to experience the world in a way which leaves little or no negative impact, and it’s actually really simple!  By making a few small changes to the way that we travel we can make a HUGE difference.

Take your own water bottle

The average person uses 167 disposable water bottles every year.  As travelers, we use substantially more.  By carrying a reusable bottle (and steripen where drinking tap water is not recommended) it’s possible to cut out plastic bottles completely- that’s HUGE!

Take your own straw

We’ve all seen the video of the turtle who has a straw stuck up his nose, this is simply unacceptable.   When I discovered glass straws I thought they would be impractical to travel with, I thought they would smash in my bag or be thrown away because I am too lazy to clean them.  I was wrong.  Now, I always carry one in my handbag, not just while traveling but at home as well.  I haven’t broken one yet and they take next to no effort to clean.  Don’t like the idea of glass?  Bamboo straws are another great alternative, (they look cool too!)  Paper straws are the next best thing, you can only use them once but they will leave no lasting impression on the environment.

Take your own bag

Tote bags are easy to travel with making them a great way to make a HUGE difference with LITTLE effort.   A visit to any tourist market in the world will show you how many needless plastic bags we go through as we shop for souvenirs.  Each friendship bracelet, new hat and bunch of bananas we haggle hard for is shamelessness stuffed into a plastic bag.  Even handbags are put into plastic bags for the carry home, this is INSANE!! Carrying a small tote in the bottom of my handbag means I always have it handy for any impromptu purchases.

Foldable Tupperware

This may sound like a step too far, but bear with me!  Yes, you may get some odd looks, and yes, some people may think you’re a crazy hippy but who cares?  People who question your way will inevitably tell their friends about what they witnesses- our doubters can spend our message.  Before we know it, traveling with foldable Tupperware will be the cool thing to do, then who will be laughing?!  Eco-Friendly Travel is the way forward.

Hire a bicycle

Example of an eco-friendly way to travel

Riding a bike is the best way to see a new city, the freedom to go at your own pace is priceless.  By hiring from small businesses you are also helping the local economy.  Try it once and tell me you didn’t enjoy it!

Share a cab

When you need a cab look for people who may be heading in the same direction as you.  For instance, when I visit Bangkok I usually stay on Khao San road, the backpacker’s mecca.  From the airport, I take the Skytrain to the end of the line and jump in a cab or tuk-tuk.  Since hundreds of backpackers head for Khao San each day I nearly always find somebody to share a ride with.  This halves the cost and means one less taxi driving to the same place and the same time.  How do you know when someone is heading to the same place as you?  You know your tribe, believe me.

Take the train, instead of the plane

Train in Pompeii station good eco-travel

Trains can replace planes on so many occasions.  Your journey will take a little long, but what’s the rush?!  When we travel by air we miss so much of the country that we are there to see.  I always choose a train ride over a domestic flight where possible, the journey can become part of the trip, rather than just a way of getting from one place to another.  Train journeys are a great way to meet new friends and the impact on our environment is substantial.  For unavoidable and international flights I book though Fly-Eco, a flight search engine which offsets the carbon emissions of all flights booked through them by planting trees.

Pack consciously

Thinking about what we pack can make a big difference to the impact we have on the places we visit.  As a rule, I don’t pack anything I wouldn’t use at home.  For instance, I use shampoo bars and biodegradable soap at home, so I don’t swap them for ‘minis’ when I travel.

Small actions, HUGE results!

Some of these points may seem too insignificant to make a difference, but together we can do great things.  For example, every month around twenty thousand people attend the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan in Thailand.  If each of those people used just ONE less straw on their entire trip, that would mean twenty thousand fewer straws polluting the beaches and ocean EVERY MONTH.  That’s 240,000 less straw on the beaches and in the ocean EVERY YEAR!

Share your Eco-Friendly Travel Tips using the hashtag #EcoTravelTips

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    korinna
    June 28, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Kat,
    I love your ideas! They are so simple and really anyone can do them. I actually do all of them when travelling or when at home (part of my pursuit of the zero waste lifestyle hehe).
    Have fun creating your blog 🙂
    Kind regards
    Korinna

    • Reply
      Kat
      June 28, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Korinna! Thanks for the comment. I hope that more people will start to travel like this, it can make a huge difference. I’m trying to live waste free too 😊 Kat ✌🏼

      • Reply
        korinna
        June 28, 2017 at 10:21 pm

        Wow, I’m so glad to hear about your minimalist efforts! Same as you, I would be happy to see more people travelling with a sustainable mindset. It really has the power to make the world a better place. Even baby steps can help 🙂
        Where in the world are you right now?

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 7, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    You’ve convinced me to buy a glass straw! It’s not something I’d thought about before, but I’m going to start using one both at home and while traveling!

  • Reply
    Emma
    July 8, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Such good ideas that are so easy to do and would make sure a difference to the environment! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    masabutara
    July 8, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Thank you for remindering all of us! We sure need to do better. I’m trying to have a sustainable mindset so that kind of posts are helping a lot! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristine Eva
    July 8, 2017 at 9:47 am

    These are very practical tips that are easy to do. I’m going to pack my own straw, and I didn’t see that turtle video because my husband warned me that it’s graphic and I have a weak stomach for that kind of content. I totally agree with you that small actions lead to big results.

  • Reply
    Lyf&Spice
    July 8, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Much needed reminders of valuing the environment we live in. If we can contribute in any of the above ways, it will make a lot of difference. Well said! Cheers!!

  • Reply
    TravellingDany
    July 8, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Thank you so much for raising awareness! Sometimes I get so mad at people who just ruin awesome areas by littering them without looking back!

  • Reply
    Ajay Arora
    July 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Great article. Every one should start following and contribute to all the good the nature has to offer

  • Reply
    forever roaming the world
    July 8, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    This is a great post, it’s amazing how much more ecological we can be if we just stop and think for a minute. I have to admit before I started traveling I never gave it too much thought but seeing the amount of waste we make. It hit me the most being out in Bali, on the way to the Gilli islands, that sea is gorgeous but then there’s a wash of plastic just floating around, waste piled up on the side of paradise islands.

  • Reply
    notthatboringaccountant
    July 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I really love this post! Nice tips!!

  • Reply
    Who do I do
    July 8, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Majority of the points mentioned in the post we do. I had to have my eye closed in parts of the video – I’m definitely buying a glass straw after watching the video. Together we can make a difference.

  • Reply
    lcdorkin
    July 9, 2017 at 4:50 am

    All of this, agreed 100%! Everyone really does have to do better! Great tips! And good on you for promoting this sustainable behaviour!

  • Reply
    Laura - Learning to Adventure
    July 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Amazing article – you’re 100% right, we’re not looking after this planet nearly as much as we should do!! Some great tips – and all are small changes we can make without feeling a huge impact ourselves, but the impact to the environment will be phenomenal.

  • Reply
    Charity Valenzuela Marces
    July 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Zero waste travel it is! I love the idea of having the discipline and care about our surroundings and wallets .

    • Reply
      Kat
      July 14, 2017 at 7:58 am

      It takes some time to get used to it and a little more effort, soon it becomes the normal thing to do though 🙂

  • Reply
    digitaltravelg
    July 10, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Great ideas and information 🙂 loved this post and your blog.

    • Reply
      Kat
      July 14, 2017 at 7:57 am

      Thanks, I love your blog too! #Blogbuddies ! 😂

  • Reply
    moimehr
    July 13, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Renting a bicycle is something I am really tempted to try whenever I am travelling but the time crunch kills the desires. Will definetly try it next time as per your suggestion !

    • Reply
      Kat
      July 14, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Yeah, it’s hard if you are just passing through a place and want to see everything in a short time, or in busy cities. I love riding my bike though, it’s a lot less stressful than public transport 😀

  • Reply
    Rahat Arora
    July 16, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Great article with amazing content

  • Reply
    Bertahan Luxing
    September 16, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I’m a big believer in minimal impact travel also. Love this post. Keep spreading the word!

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