10 ways to be more eco-friendly when traveling

 Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we are all aware, flying on a plane isn’t the most eco-friendly activity. Neither is driving a car, which is hard to avoid unless you live in a city and ride a bicycle everywhere. I truly love you, bicycle riders. I miss being close enough to work to bike it!

I’m hoping someday we can fly all flights on alternative fuel. There are several airlines offering biofuel already, and it’s been increasing in the past few years, reducing the carbon footprint. Biofuel is actually trash that is converted into fuel. I’m excited for a future where we don’t use fossil fuels for transportation.

You can reduce your carbon footprint in several ways right now and still see the world!

    We always bring our own stainless-steel water bottles when traveling. It is convenient to fill up at drinking fountains in the airport and— if you are lucky— in cities where there is clean drinking water. If there is no clean drinking water, you can try a water filter for your bottle.If all else fails and you have to buy bottled water, get the biggest jug you can find— or able to carry— instead of buying several smaller bottles. Make sure it goes into recycling, if you can find a bin. Plastic is awful for the environment. Just making a conscious effort to reduce those one-use disposable plastics will help!
    On the airplane, some flight attendants will give a new plastic cup with every beverage. I always tell them I’m trying to reduce disposable plastic usage, so please use my water bottle instead of a plastic cup!

Filling my stainless steel water bottle in a natural spring in Croatia.

        Along with reusing your water bottle, you can bring your own containers and utensils to avoid using the plastic cutlery and styrofoam and other non eco-friendly materials. I usually bring a silver spoon, fork, knife, bowl and plate in my luggage. Wrap it in a reusable shopping bag that you can use to avoid plastic bags while shopping. Never take the knife or fork in your carry-on; it will probably get confiscated by security. I even got a spoon confiscated once! Try a bamboo utensil set.
        When possible: walk, bike, or take trains to your destination and/or around your destination.  Not only is it more environmentally friendly, but you’ll see more of the landscape and scenery, interact more with the environment, and meet people while traveling overland. We’ve had some of the best times walking around for miles lost in a foreign city or an ancient forest. Hey, it’s the journey, not the destination! 😉
        I love eco-lodges! They always seem to have a good vibe to them. Eco Lodges are built and designed to have the least environmental impact on the natural environment around them. Hence, they are usually really green and in a remote location! Sometimes they have gardens growing food, composting, recycled materials, and they use methods to save water and other resources.
    Upachaya Eco Lodge in Roatan, Honduras

    Upachaya Eco Lodge in Roatan, Honduras

        Please don’t litter, harm natural environments, or disturb wildlife while traveling. It’s easy to leave a place the same way you entered it or better. Pick up trash along the way, protect wildlife, and keep the Earth beautiful!
        Zoos and aquariums take animals out of their natural habitat and put them into cages for human entertainment. We love animals, so we go on wildlife tours or explore natural habitats to see them in their natural environment  Legit animal sanctuaries exist where you can see the animals and volunteer while they are being rehabilitated to be released back into the wild, or taken care of if they are disabled or unable to be released.
        Seeing animals in the wild is so much more rewarding. It’s not guaranteed so you appreciate it more. It also motivates the locals who share their environment to help protect them instead of see them as a hindrance.

        Seeing animals in the wild is so rewarding. Gorillas in Uganda

      • BUY LOCAL
        Supporting local artisans and businesses is not only eco-friendly but it helps the people living in the place you’re visiting. One good thing is the product doesn’t have to travel as far to be sold to you. Another is the products are most likely made from local resources and it contributes to their economy.
      • PACK LIGHT
        I know this is hard for many of us but the poundage you take on a plane really adds to the fuel it needs to get you to the destination. Not only will the environment thank you, but so will your back!
        Aim to go on tours with local guides that give back to the community and find ways to be more eco-friendly and respectful of the environment. Look for local guides who plant trees or donate a portion to local organization or will bring you to hands on help with offset projects while you are in their country.

        Andre, the caretaker of orphaned gorillas, Senkwekwe Center in the Virunga National Park of the Congo.

      • EAT PLANTS
        Last, but not least, eat plant-based vegan food. Animal agriculture contributes to global warming and environmental destruction more than ALL transportation combined. We’ve managed to travel to 60+ countries and have not had to eat animal products. Of course, some countries are easier than others but there are vegans and plant-based food in nearly every country in the world- in fact it’s usually the cheapest staple (i.e. rice, beans, fruit, grains, etc). Even the Aryan tribe in the harsh, cold Himalayas have been vegan more than 5,000 years. Check out our post How To Travel As A Vegan for some helpful tips.

        Vegan cheeseburger in Melbourne, Australia. Made from plants!

        Eat Fruit!

Thanks for checking out my latest post! If you have any more ideas to travel compassionately, please comment below.

Peace. Love. Travel.



P.S.  If you’d like to see more travel photos, FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM at www.instagram.com/compassionatenomads. 🙂

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