While travelling, many things cross your mind – cost, availability, quality, etc. However, the utmost important factor that you consistently stress over is the matter of sustainability. In today’s era, our world keeps on progressing and elevating its infrastructure so we can taste the flavour of lavishness. However, as compelling as it is, one cannot ignore that our travel industry is easily one of the most environmentally unfriendly on earth. In hindsight, we might face a significant environmental crisis if we do not take instant action. Therefore, we have jotted down 6 Easy Ways to Travel with a Clear Conscience that makes it easier to reconcile our wanderlust.
- Manage Your Distance
- Avoid Plastics
- Pick Light
- Support Local Businesses
- Avoid Skin Care Chemicals
- Book Sustainable Hotels
1. Manage Your Distance
The first step to sustainable travel is finding the most efficient way to reach your destination. Long-haul flights are more fuel-efficient than short-haul flights. Hence the smartest action to take is the former. However, if you really want to embody the true definition of green travel, avoid short-haul flights and take the train for such distances. The most clever alternative is to offset the CO2 produced by your flight with carbon offset projects, such as Atmosfair or myclimate. In cases where flying is the only way to reach your destination, then extend your stay for compensation. Another life-changing tip is to use E-cars for long trips and bikes for relatively shorter ones.
2. Avoid Plastics
Using plastic automatically sets you off sustainable travel because it is highly detrimental to our world’s ecological balance. Reportedly, around one million plastic bottles end up in the ocean every minute of every day! To counter this, take reusable water bottles, shampoos, and snack boxes with you on vacation. People usually assume that a single plastic bottle isn’t harming the vast ocean; however, these ‘single’ bottles accumulate to a huge number. Therefore, whether it is one or a thousand, the effect is all the same – refrain from indulging in plastic usage and avoid plastic.
Our reusable water bottle pick would be the minimalist LARQ PureVis bottle that purifies the water and self-cleans with the PureVis technology. The ultimate flex would, of course, be the Chanel lambskin quilted water bottle. Because who has forgotten Maggie Rogers’ Grammys’ 2020 look?! Not us.
3. Pack Light
Perhaps the most tedious task to complete when going on a trip is packing. One is instantly compelled to pack their entire closets in because what if there is a sudden change of events? However, as addicting as it sounds, packing light is an essential element to travelling in a sustainable manner. Though you might be wondering how light luggage is correlated to sustainability. Well, the major reason is that the lighter your suitcase, the less energy the train, plane, or rental car that you are travelling in will consume.
There are also multiple light-travelling suitcases that you can carry. One of our favourites is the Rimowa, known for being resilient and lightweight. But if you really want to ramp it up and make a statement, I’d say go with the Dior and Rimowa Trunk Suitcase.
4. Support Local Businesses
While on vacation, we often come across varying cultures, traditions, communities, and delicacies that enrich our holiday experience to an unforgettable extent. As we discover and enjoy different cultural fabrics, it becomes our duty to support the local people who essentially form the crux of the culture. If you shop at local stores, support small artists, and visit common markets while on vacation, you support the local infrastructure and local families, which can be super helpful to the common majority.
5. Avoid Skincare Chemicals
The scorching summer heat has most of us worried about unprecedented sunburns and hence, it is almost natural to use sunscreens for the sake of our skin. While these concerns are valid, they are also harmful from a broader perspective. Unfortunately, many sunscreens are poison to corals because they contain octinoxate and oxybenzone, which are responsible for bleaching the reefs. However, the problem still remains if our mineral sunscreens are packed in plastic materials. The only efficient method to adapt is investing in ones that embody the core definition of environmental well-being.
Our top recommendation for this would be Butter Me Up Organics – known for creating a reef-protected and 100 per cent plastic-free sunscreen, adhering to the major principles of green travel. So to avoid such environmental damage while also keeping our skin protected, it is most advisable to invest in sustainable sunscreens – a much healthier alternative that fulfils its purpose without exhibiting any toxic wastes.
6. Book Sustainable Hotels
If you made it this far, then about 90 per cent of your travel journey is environmentally approved. However, if you skip out on this step, then you might be back to square one. Thus, be careful not to waste all the effort you exerted till this point and book hotels that actively make use of sustainable recourses. To find the most suitable one, it is advisable to contact certified tour operators who specifically work for the cause of sustainable travel. These tour guides support the local community, provide jobs and comply with environmental standards – the epitome of green travelling!