Travelling with eco-friendly achievements in mind is not always as easy as it seems. While the average person may hope to find a hotel that puts an emphasis on recycling and energy efficiency, true eco-friendly travel goes beyond these simple changes to make the environment a highlight of the entire trip. Use these unique tips to make your next trip a responsible and enjoyable one.
Most countries participate in some type of eco-friendly recycling and energy conservation program, but lodging options that are truly eco-friendly take steps to ensure that every aspect of the daily operations have a minimal impact on the environment. Hostels are an ideal choice because the space and energy that is taken up by lodgers is restricted by the fact that more than one person shares a room in the dormitory-style setting.
Choose a hotel or hostel that makes a point to inform visitors that sustainability is a goal for the business. For example, Can Sala in Spain and Tina’s Casitas in Costa Rica were both built with environmental concerns in mind. These hostels even offer organic, natural shopping opportunities.
Toiletries should be kept organic during the trip. While there may be nearby shops that sell organic bath items, an alternative is to make your own products in order to avoid causing harm to the environment with harsh, chemical shampoos and soaps. For example, in the Middle East you can find Dead Sea salts which are perfect for bathing with, in Western Europe there are an array of oils that you can moisturise with. However if you are keen on purchasing, look out for soaps made with lye, essential oils and water.
How can you have fun and come home with souvenirs without hurting the environment? Be careful to read labels or ask the selling vendor before you purchase trinkets. Any item that is made in an eco-friendly warehouse is sure to announce this fact. If you are purchasing items from local artists during your trip, talk to the individual about the source materials that they have used to craft a souvenir. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that you are sticking with your eco-friendly travel goals and allows you to connect with the locals to enhance the travelling experience. Tip: Items made with Hemp, Bamboo, coconut matting are all safe to go for.
Dining out while you are travelling should be as carefully planned as meals at home. Organic foods are grown in a way that is much less destructive than conventional farming. Water and soil conservation is a priority, and harmful pesticides and herbicides are not used when organic farming is concerned. Food is not always labelled to be Organic in many countries so the safest bet is to find local markets.
Minimising the impact that dining while travelling has on the environment can also be achieved by sticking to a plant diet. Avoiding foods that are sourced from animals helps maintain biodiversity and lessens the impact on climate change and pollution as compared to omnivorous eating.
Organic, vegetarian meals are typically sourced from nearby farms. Cutting the long transportation time out of the equation helps the environment by eliminating pollution and fuel usage. You can find vegetarian and vegan accommodation options, which have options of Organic farming workshops, a 100% Organic and plant based café in South Africa and a Yoga hut in Mexico.
Want to give back to the environment and the community during your next holiday? Consider looking for an eco-friendly volunteer opportunity that provides you with new experiences while allowing you to do your part to help.
International organisations including the United Nations and United Planet offer volunteer opportunities that are specifically intended to allow the volunteer to travel and serve an environmental purpose during the trip. You can travel to an exotic location and share an experience with like-minded individuals by volunteering as a part of your travels.
Keeping your travels as eco-friendly as possible is a must if you are dedicated to helping the environment while you are at home. Choose your lodging and dining options carefully to ensure that the companies that you frequent during your travels have the same goals as you do when it comes to preserving the environment.