From fossil fuel guzzling planes to disposable toiletries, travelling the globe can put a strain on the world’s resources. But there are small steps you can take to be a more responsible globe trotter. Check out these sustainable travel tips for your next adventure.
Pack your own toiletries
According to a UK report, approximately 200 million mini plastic toiletries are dumped in the landfill every year – and that’s from UK hotels alone. Support the single-use plastic ban and pack your toiletries in reusable travel-friendly containers.
Pack reusable bags
With most New Zealanders now in the habit of taking their own bags shopping, there’s no reason not to continue doing so while travelling. You might even find the plastic bag ban in place in the country you’re visiting. It’s a good idea to pack a few reusable bags for shopping and dirty laundry.
Pack a reusable drink bottle
Not all places have tap water that’s safe to drink but that doesn’t mean you need to resort to bottled water. Look for a reusable bottle that filters water on the go or try water purifying tablets.
Reuse your towels and sheets
Most of us don’t launder our sheets and towels after every use and will happily reuse our towels at home. There’s a big opportunity to save water by cutting down housekeeping if you’re staying in serviced accommodation. Many accommodation providers now have incentives in place for guests, like a hotel credit in return for skipping daily housekeeping.
Consider offsetting your carbon emissions
The more you fly, the bigger your carbon footprint. To help reduce the impact of flying, many airlines offer carbon-offsetting programmes. You can pay a little extra on top of your plane ticket towards carbon neutralising initiatives like tree-planting.
Opt for the train
If you’re in need of short-distance transport, why not travel by rail? While budget airlines service many destinations, the train is a less carbon intensive choice and an opportunity to take in the landscape.
Take shorter showers
It’s the small changes that can have the biggest impact. New Zealanders, on average, use 15L per minute they shower. If you cut your shower by 2 minutes, that’s enough water saved to meet the drinking water needs of more than 10 people. This is especially helpful in places experiencing drought or a water shortage.
Whether it’s eating or shopping, support the local economy by purchasing from locally-run businesses. This could be eating from vendors at a food stall instead of a multinational fast food chain or purchasing locally farmed produce from a farmers market rather than imported fruit and vegetables from a supermarket.
Choose reef-friendly natural sunscreen
Some ingredients in sunscreen have been proven to harm coral reefs. If you’re planning to swim in the ocean, be sure to pick a reef-friendly sunscreen to protect marine life. Look for a label on your sunscreen bottle.
Environmental consciousness starts by making small changes in order to make a big difference. The good news is that with these sustainable travel tips, there’s lots of ways to travel lightly for your next trip!