Sustainable Habits for the World-Traveler

Being in a new place is always exciting; there’s so much to see and discover everywhere. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your destination that you start to take less care with your actions. Anywhere you visit, you must remember to respect your surroundings and make sure you are paying close attention to the impact you are leaving on the environment around you. 

When we travel, we tend to feel a little less responsible— more care-free than usual. While it can be great to allow yourself to loosen up and relax on a trip, you can’t forget about the sustainable practices you follow in your day-to-day life. 

Step one: Pick Transportation with the Lowest Emissions

Air travel is one of the most damaging forms of transportation in terms of emissions and pollution. Try to take public transportation, low emission or no emission vehicles whenever possible while traveling. Some people opt for bicycle transportation when traveling around a city or any other manageable distance. Riding a bike is your best bet for an emission-free mode of transportation for smaller distances. The best part is that you’ll actually get to see more of your travel destination while getting around on a bike. You will have more control over where and when you go places, allowing for time to make stops and take detours whenever you so choose. 

For long-haul travel that you wouldn’t be able to do by bike, public transportation is your next best solution. Public transportation is beneficial as it transports a large amount of people with only one source of fuel emission. Rather than everyone taking their own vehicles, with each vehicle generating its own emissions, only one vehicle is used in public transportation, which cuts down on the amount of fuel polluting the atmosphere.

Step Two: Consider What You Pack

Another great way to be more sustainable wherever you travel is to bring items that have more than one use. Simple and easy-to-pack items like reusable bags, containers and eating utensils are perfect for making sure you aren’t creating excess waste while traveling. Plus, you’ll have just about everything you need right at your fingertips, making for ultimate convenience when you are visiting a new place.

The same can be said for clothing as well. If you are someone who enjoys buying a new outfit or two for an upcoming trip, consider purchasing and packing clothing that you can wear for multiple occasions. You can even save time and money on your new travel attire by shopping secondhand for brands like Free People which is perfect for basic pieces or fancier items. This will allow you to easily switch up your look for any item on your itinerary. Shopping for secondhand items, rather than buying brand new, helps ensure that the life of clothing and related materials are in-use for as long as possible; rather than being worn only a handful of times before being thrown away and sitting in landfills.  

It may be helpful to pack lightly and compactly to make sure you can easily carry your belongings no matter where or how you travel. Packing sustainable and reusable items will help keep your luggage to a minimum while traveling.

Step Three: Keep Up Sustainable Habits

Just as you would in your own routine at home, keeping up with recycling while traveling and other eco-friendly habits is just as important. Again, this is where bringing your own reusable items is a great idea to make sure you don’t create excess waste. If you do plan to purchase food or other items that come in recyclable packaging, make sure you find the proper receptacles to dispose of your waste in. Throwing these items in with the trash or littering is a very harmful practice no matter where you are, but especially while traveling. If you can’t find a place to properly dispose of your waste, hold onto these items until you can find a location to dispose of it. 

Traveling is a fun and exciting way to see the world, but you must remember the consequences that frequent travel can have on our planet. It is our responsibility to be as eco-friendly as possible in all aspects of our lives; taking care to adopt sustainable practices wherever possible. Just by utilizing a few reusable items, rather than single-use, and taking care to make sure you dispose of items properly, will help create a positive impact on our planet wherever we travel.

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