Use these tips to travel sustainably or better yet put them in practice at home!
Say “No” to Plastic Water Bottles (and straws!)
Better yet, bring a reusable water flask from home or ask your tour operator or hotel for local recyclable purified water. Your request will send a message that you care about stopping plastic waste that is clogging up landfills and polluting our seas, spurring more travel companies to also say no to plastic.
Eat Sustainably Sourced Seafood
At a time when worldwide fisheries are in decline, opt for sustainably-sourced seafood using the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch List phone app. I also say no to shrimp: most of it comes from aquaculture ponds bulldozed out of tropical mangrove forests and dosed with chemicals. And when it comes to other culinary delights of travel, always go local and, when possible, also organic. The less chemicals and food miles involved to get to your plate, the more nutritious and the less fossil fuels involved.
Choose a Hotel Committed to Sustainability
I always give priority to hotels that include their sustainability commitment on their website. Sure, some might be “greenwashing” – talking without doing – but most will provide a good idea of what a hotel or outfitter is doing to go green, and its puts them on record for you to also ask about those practices in person on your trip. Choose resorts like The Brando in French Polynesia or Six Senses Hotels & Resorts.
Bring a Reusable Shopping Bag
Carry an easy-to-fold reusable shopping bag on trips, and use it. It is one of the easiest and most helpful things for the environment that we can do when we travel to avoid contributing to plastic bag pollution, now a major cause of concern in many parts of the world. And locals will welcome it, too.
Take the train, bike, and walk where you can. It is more environmentally-friendly and will also help you to embrace the Slow Travel movement – all about experiencing more than just seeing a place. When you do need to fly, use a reliable carbon offset provider like MyClimate, to offset your air travel, and opt for non-stop flights vs. connections – fewer flights, less emissions.
Never Buy Wildlife Products
Ever. Period. From pretty shells in Vietnam to fur hats in Kaszakhstan to sea turtle bracelets in Maldives – no matter where you are, the odds are overwhelming that it comes from killing wild animals. Just say no. Your response will send a powerful message that travellers do not support the wildlife trade.