We all know that the choice to travel, has a big impact on the environment. I think, these days it’s impossible to turn an eye on the impact we make when we decide to fly somewhere. That’s why I started to think of different ways to lessen the big impact I already make. I made a list of tips & tricks to travel more ecofriendly:
- COMPENSATE YOUR FLIGHTS. These days there are many possible ways to compensate the flights you take. I myself use Greenseat, a Dutch company that calculates your impact and invests your money in green initiatives. So while you make a negative impact, you can invest in green initiatives. However, it’s important to stay realistic: it doesn’t take away that flying is still bad.
- TRY TO AVOID DOMESTIC FLIGHTS. If you choose to fly, try to avoid it as much as possible! When we travelled through China for a month, we decided to travel only with public transport. It would have been easier to take a domestic flight (I mean, China is big!) but I if I can avoid flying, I will! And, even though long bus- or trainrides are often tiring and sometimes uncomfortable, they are also a bigger adventure than a flight! AND, the biggest plus: all the sights!
- Oh, if you travel longterm: try to plan your route in the way that you fly most responsibly – try to fly to take the shorter flights and travel to the closest country and then to the next closest country and so on… no use flying all over the place!
IN YOUR BAGS; what to take with you to travel more ecofriendly:
The things in this list are things I do at home as well and they were so easy to apply to travels as well! Hope they help you out!
- A TOTE BAG: I always have a linnen or cotton tote bag with me and I’ll always put it in my day-pack. This way, when I do groceries or go shopping, I don’t have to accept all the plastic bags! It’s such an easy thing to do and a tote bag doesn’t take up a lot extra space or weight!
- A SHAMPOO BAR: Honestly, this one is even better for travelling than a regular shampoo! It’s smaller, there’s no waste and it’s soo easy and versatile in it’s use! Never going back to normal shampoo!
- A CRYSTAL DEODORANT: Okay, I could have put this one under ecofriendly beauty products, but I love it so much that I had to give it it’s own point! I don’t like deodorant but honestly, when you are travelling to more tropical countries, you don’t want to miss it! I looked for good alternatives and found this one! It’s small and compact and doesn’t weigh more than a normal deo, it is what it’s called: a crystal! If you apply it every morning, it makes sure that your sweat doesn’t get smelly! Tested and approved by me! I love it and this one will never leave my travel bag again! I use this one, but since it’s simply a rock, I don’t think the brand will make a lot of difference; simply check that there’s no added chemicals or such.
- REUSABLE MAKE-UP REMOVER PADS: I love these! They are perfect for travelling! Biggest reason: you don’t need a make-up remover product! You make them wet and it removes the make-up from your face! And then you wash them with your laundry. You need to put them in a little bag, but I always take one for my bras as well, so I put them together.
- CORAL REEF FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN: A very important one! Not much too explain here; make sure your sunscreen is eco- and coral reef friendly! That way, you don’t pollute the seas when you go swimming!
- For the women under us, DIVA CUP OR PERIOD PANTIES: Most importantly is that you choose a product that works for you (and makes you feel comfortable), but I recently ditched tampons and menstrual pads. They are not only expensive, but you collect so much trash by using them! I never was a fan – but hey, I needed them (did not know the alternatives yet) – and I believe that a natural product might be better for the body as well. I myself use a diva cup and although it was a bit uncomfortable the first times I used it, I quickly got used to it! I only need to think about my period twice a day! Change it in the morning and the evening! I do know that not every woman or girl likes it (I mean, every vulva is different) and I read a lot about period panties and have some friends who are really happy with those! These days, they have nice designs and after rinsing them out, you simply wash them with the rest of your clothes! Might not be the perfect fit if you’re a backpacker, since laundry isn’t always an option! I use one from Organicup, but there are lots of other good brands.
- A WATER BOTTLE: one of the easiest things to do! Take a water bottle and use that instead of buying plastic bottles! Sometimes a challenge in countries where tap water is not drinkable, but there are often drink taps to fill up bottles – and otherwise we choose to buy a big water bottle to fill our reusable ones up again, to at least minimize the plastic… On a trek (like in Nepal for example) you can use water filtration tablets or a water filter (for long distance treks, I’ll talk more about it in my gear list for the Te Araroa)!
- A BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSH & ECOFRIENDLY TOOTHPASTE: I always use a bamboo toothbrush – simply love it; it’s more beautiful and just as practical as a regular brush! Just make sure to let it dry out most of the times and don’t stow it away immediately – it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it from time to time, but if you just put it away every day, it might get a bit moldy. However, that is something I heard from other travelers and never experienced myself! I love the products from The Humble.
- TRY TO AVOID MEAT FROM TIME TO TIME: Simple one, don’t eat meat every day – in some countries more easy than others, but it’s getting easier every day! You don’t have to give up on meat if you don’t want to, but even eating vegetarian a day a week, will have quite the impact! This is also a very good choice for your travel budget, since meat is often more expensive!
So, that is my list so far. I’m sure I forget certain things and I’ll definitely keep updating! What are your tips and tricks for travelling more responsibly?