Whether you travel to the same beach every year or jet set to a new destination every other month, you are a traveler. One of our biggest responsibilities as travelers is to lessen our ecological footprint both as we travel and in our day-to-day life at home. This year we want to challenge you to join us and be part of the solution. If everyone makes one (or two!) small changes, we can collectively make a big impact.
We challenge you to read through these 35 simple changes and pick one or two that you aren’t doing yet, and implement it into your travel or daily routines. Together we can make a significant change in the travel industry. Leave a comment on the post with what changes you are committing to and lets inspire others to join us.
1. Look for hotels that are locally owned and/or staff locals.
2. Find out what type of recycling program the hotel or travel company has and use it.
3. Ask if your hotel or cruise has the option of reusing towels and sheets instead of having them changed daily.
4. Learn about the programs in place that the companies you travel with use to save energy (alternate energy source, solar power..)
5. Does your hotel contribute to the local community? Find out how.
6. Keep your showers short to help save water.
7. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
8. Turn off lights/air/television etc. when you leave the room.
9. Bring your own toiletries so you don’t use the small travel size ones they provide.
10. Give your hotels feedback on the importance of sustainable travel to you as a traveler and encourage them to start new programs.
11. Bike, Walk or take public transportation to get to places.
12. Use reusable water bottles.
13. Book non-stop flights, a large portion of carbon emissions is during the take off and landing.
14. Buy from local artisans.
15. Consider WOOFing on your next vacation. It’s an opportunity to stay for free on a local farm in exchange for working on the farm. This allows you to meet the locals and live with them to learn more about their culture.
16. Stay on the marked trails when hiking.
17. Stay a safe distance from animals in the wild and never touch them.
18. If you need to rent a car, rent a small car or hybrid car to use less energy.
19. Look for LEED certified buildings. LEED certification provides verification of a building’s green features, allowing for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of resource-efficient, high-performing, cost-effective buildings.
20. Shop at local food markets instead of larger grocery stores.
21. Never buy items made from endangered species.
22. Only grab the map and brochures that you will use, pass them on to other travelers or return them when you are done.
23. Opt for paperless whenever possible.
24. Take only pictures and leave destinations as you found them.
25. Opt for the hand dryer after washing your hands and skip the paper towels.
26. Grab your tennis shoes and explore your destination on foot.
27. Use digital guide books.
28. Do your homework and learn about ecological concerns before you travel.
29. Before you leave home unplug your unused electrical devices – even when they are plugged in they use energy.
30. Skip travel size toiletries – use refillable containers instead.
31. Reuse whenever possible, and throw away as little as possible.
32. Use rechargeable batteries.
33. Be careful how you dispose of plastic trash, it can be dangerous for the wildlife.
34. Carpool whenever possible, share a taxi to the airport and/or join a group tour while traveling.
35. Bring a reusable travel coffee mug with you for your morning cup of joe and have the coffee shop fill it up instead of using their paper cups.
What are you committing to change this year? Did we leave something off our list that you do to help conserve resources? Let us know in the comments!