Eco-travel: Minimal adjustments that have a big impact.
April 20, 2020
Guest post by Alora from SΛM & LΛNCE - an online marketplace that takes the guesswork out of ethical shopping with their selection of ethically-sourced jewelry, skincare, and home goods made by women around the world.
Although we know that many types of traveling themselves are not very earth-friendly, it is often an activity that many of us still participate in for a variety of reasons.
There are, however, many ways you can be a more conscious and planet happy traveler without too much effort (where my #lazygirls at!?). From booking to airports to planes and hotels here are a few of our tried and tested methods for being greener!
Let's start with booking your travel
Try to take ground transportation when possible. It might take a bit longer but just think of the things you can see out the window of a train and think of all those trees you're helping
If flights cannot be avoided, some booking sites let you know which trips and routes have lower emissions, it may mean traveling at awkward times but to us making a small sacrifice can be worth it
Some airlines let you give a donation to offset the emissions used by your flight or you can donate to a local tree-planting charity. Another easy way you can offset is by changing your regular daily routine a bit. Maybe try meatless Mondays or walk to the sore instead of driving. That way if you go on a vacation you have proactively eliminated a bit of your carbon footprint already!
At the airport or Train Station:
Bring your own water bottle! Most airports now have fantastic water bottle filling stations and once you are on the airplane you can also ask the flight attendants (nicely and when they’re not too busy) to fill your bottle for you. This will help keep you hydrated and also save all those tiny plastic cups!
If you are a big tea or coffee drinker bring your own travel mug (hot tip: this can also double as a water bottle!). Many of the water dispensers also have hot water so you can actually bring and brew your own tea on the go but these can also be used on the plane or train.
If you want to take it one step further, you can bring your own meals prepared in reusable containers. Plane and train food is often (unless you’re in first class lucky duck!) served in disposable containers which can accumulate a lot of unnecessary waste. This way you can also ensure your dietary needs are met and you aren't wasting food that you don't like or can't eat.
At your destination.
Once you’re at your destination you’re already one step ahead to be more eco friendly because you’ve already brought your water bottle and travel mug with you! However check before you leave some countries cannot drink from the tap so bringing a small portable water filter with you will help solve that
Do your research and eat as local as possible! This is a great opportunity to try new foods and to support small businesses who take pride in their culture and what their areas have to offer. Restaurants that cater to American-flavours often have to import their ingredients, eating local food means that your ingredients are likely also grown locally!
Another favourite thing to do is to go to a local market and pick up some fresh items to try for your breakfasts or snacks. This is also a great way to try new local fruits! (Durian anyone??)
Try to book accommodation in a place that holds the same values as you. Many boutique hotels (and even some large chains) are putting in such great efforts to be more eco friendly for example. We stayed at one hotel that had filtered water in glass bottles at a number of stations around the resort so you never had to ask for it. Another hotel donated money to water conservation efforts if you returned the toiletries to them unused. Don’t be afraid to email the hotels directly and ask them what they are doing to save our planet! The more you all ask the more pressure they will be under to make changes
Limit your shower time. Western showers average to last around 15 minutes; this is a stress for developing communities that may not have ready access to this water and energy source.
So in a nutshell, Bring your own whenever you can, keep local and support small (you know we love that here at SΛM & LΛNCE) and do your best to offset whenever possible. Here are some of our favourite green and travel-friendly products. Use exclusive code "ORIGIN" for $10 off any product!
Welcome to Souvenir, where we focus on the goods that you bring back from traveling. We're not talking about those physical items you bring home. We are definitely talking about those conversations, those learnings, those cultural exchanges that you've experienced and you've touched on the road that have really impacted the way that you've come home and live your life.