Most of us love travelling to experience different countries, experiencing unique natural and historical sights while embracing or observing the local cultural traits. As responsible travellers and guests to these destinations, it is essential to treat these unique locations with respect so that our descendants will be able to enjoy these historical sights in the same way.
This article aims to provide a handful of good tips on how we can reduce our negative footprint while travelling by reducing waste and use of products and services that can damage the environment.
Your mode of transportation depends entirely on where you live and where you are going. Travelling in Europe can easily be done by trains, while Australians going overseas have few options except for planes. When travelling longer distances, it is difficult to find an alternative to planes. Keep in mind that some types of planes are more emission friendly than others, with the Airbus 380 having a fuel efficiency of 3.9 L / 100km per passenger. This makes it more energy efficient to fill up the last couple of seats on a plane than to drive a petrol-based car (depending on the amount of passengers in the car).
Be wary of local environmental issues
When visiting other countries, take the time to research what environmental issues they are facing. Some countries might be experiencing drought, waste management issues, greenhouse gas emissions and more. As a visitor to the country, you might not have to live with the problems after you leave, but taking a responsible approach by reducing water usage, waste and CO2 emissions, you will do your part in helping the locals combat these issues.
Waste and recycling
Different countries have different methods and habits of recycling. Research what the locals do in recycling matters, and take steps to reduce the amount of waste you leave behind in each country. Invest in a good reusable water bottle so that you do not leave countless of empty plastic bottles behind on your travels. If you are concerned about the water quality in that country, a quality filter bottle such as the Fill2Pure travel bottle will leave you with safe clean water wherever you go, as it filters virus, giardia and other bacteria and any chemical waste that might be present in the local water supply.
Purchasing reusable batteries is another good tip for those reliant on batteries for powering electronic equipment while travelling that will save both environment and money in the long run.
It has become increasingly easier to find green hotels the last few years, with a variety of websites such as environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com only listing hotels that are committed to sustainable development. Most modern hotels also ask you to leave the towels in the bathtub if you want them washed. If you only wash your own towels once per week at home, why do you need newly cleaned towels every day when you stay at a hotel?
A good tip to reduce waste when dining overseas is to dine in the restaurants rather than getting takeaway meals wrapped in packaging and Styrofoam containers. Dining in local restaurants rather than globally known fast-food chains also ensures that the money from tourism benefit the local population and restaurateurs rather than multinational corporations. To further reduce waste, order beer and soft drinks from tap rather than bottles and cans.