Traveling is such a great experience, and sustainable, or eco-friendly, travel takes your experience to a whole new level. Not only do you get to take in all the sights, sounds and smells (of food, obviously) of the places you’re visiting, you also sleep better at night knowing that you’re doing your best to protect the environment from the damaging impact that hordes of tourists have on it.
Now, more than ever, consumers and brands are becoming more environmentally conscious – we have one life and one planet and it’s important to nourish both. Even hotels and resorts are getting in on being eco-friendly. So, with that in mind, here are six super easy tips that will make your next trip, or your ongoing travels, a bit more sustainable:
Do you shudder when you think about the amount of plastic bottles you’ve bought, or the number of plastic bags you’ve used while on holiday? A lot of travelers would probably have the same reaction. Reducing, or cutting out, your use of single use plastic is a great first step to making your trip more sustainable.
For example, take your own reusable bag (aka a stylish handbag or backpack) with you so you don’t have to use a plastic bag to carry the things you pick up while you’re out. Instead of buying plastic bottles on the go, take your own eco-friendly drink bottle. A lot of brands have eco and travel friendly bottles such as flat drink bottles, or ones that collapse for easy storage in your bag (whoever invented this one is pretty clever!).
To take your eco-friendliness to the next level, you may also want to take your own reusable takeaway coffee cup, or opt to sit in and sip your coffee slowly while taking in your surroundings. Taking a couple of reusable containers for carrying snacks during the day is another quick win. Nobody wants to be a hangry traveler, and a non hangry, eco-friendly traveler gets things done with a smile on their face!
Use natural products – they’re good for your body, soul and the environment too
Did you know that there are places in the world where regular sunscreen is not allowed because it’s harmful to the natural environment? That’s right, regular sunscreen contains Oxybenzone, a chemical that’s toxic to coral reefs and marine animals (and probably not so good for you either).
Of course, you kind of need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Luckily, there are a ton of brands out there that sell mineral sunscreen – that is, sunscreen that only contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or a mix of both) as its active ingredients.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing your skin is being protected from the sun’s harmful rays without having a ton of chemicals slathered all over it, and that your sunscreen choice is eco-friendly.
Other products where you might want to go natural (but not au naturel, that’s a whole other story!) include deodorant and makeup. Like sunscreen, deodorants and makeup can contain chemicals that are harmful to you and the environment – and let’s be honest, neither of those is a good news story.
Opting for natural or organic brands will mean you can spend more time doing fun activities out in nature, instead of worrying about how the products you have on might impact on the environment, and you.