As travelers we all have experienced the exciting feeling of being faraway, immersing in an exotic surrounding and the value of getting to know not only the world we live in but seeing through the eyes of other people’s world, their values and perceptions.
But traveling also needs a lot of resources and is producing a big carbon footprint every time we take seat in an airplane. This is arising the question: What can we contribute to keep our planet remaining beautiful and diverse? How can we reduce our negative impact on the environment and communities that we visit?
The good news: there are are a lot of choices we have. Let’s take a closer look on it and start where also the journey begins; by packing your suitcase.
Plastic as a resource takes up a big part in our everyday life. And although it’s not to think away anymore, there’s a downside to it. Did you know that 32% of the 78 million plastic packaging which gets produced in one year is floating in our oceans? Did you know that there are five such floating garbage patches in the sea, one as big as the state of Texas?
Because plastic never fully decomposes it kills and harms marine creatures and in the end it is poisoning humans too when entering our plates or water in form of microplastic.
Cause plastic is found everywhere it seems kind of overwhelming to replace it, but on the otherhand it gives us many opportunities to begin with:
- Plastic bottles
- Plastic -cubs, -silverware, -plates & straws
- Grocery Bags
- Food containers
- Food packaging
- Beauty products
- Clothing – nylon and polyester
1 Million water bottles are sold every minute around the globe. It sounds like a single person can’t make any difference anyway but everyone has a big impact. Just imagine how many bottles you can safe in solely one year by having a reusable bottle instead.
The plastic bags we get in every store can take up to 500 years to break down. Every year we use 500 billion to a trillion plastic bags. They are one of the biggest players in plastic pollution. So one must have is a reusable grocery bag. I would even say take two as you can use them for shopping or your beach towel.
Maybe you think whether using natural beauty products or not is solely affecting an individual – yourself. Though if we see the environmental impact it’s pretty clearly not.
Most sunscreens are very harmful for coral reefs and the marine life. The same goes for shampoos and other beauty products we apply daily. Beginning with the production and ending when releasing it in our water and oceans when we wash it down – these chemicals pollute our environment a lot more than we would think.
Obviously something which causes coral death and is endangering the natural environment of ocean creatures is also bad for the human body and can disrupt human hormone.
If you look for a way to find out which products fit your need and have no harmful ingredients the following app will help you out:
Also check if your product is cruelty free, so no animals have to suffer.
Plus: What about going old school and buy yourself a soap bar instead of a bottled shampoo? Soap bars last 2 – 5 times longer and cause no plastic waste.
Support local suppliers
No matter if you do an excursion, dine out, or get souvenirs – try to buy it from local sellers instead of international companies. Have you had an amazing tour guide? Leave them a bigger tip. Stay in locally owned hotels or homestays.
Try to keep your water use low. In many countries the local people run out of water in their villages due to the water consumption of tourists.
Learn from the locals
For example see with your own eyes how the food gets produced that we consume. Of course life is expensive but to see how farmers are cultivating their rice fileds in the burning heat will let us think a second time before complaining about the price next time when we pay for the food we get in our supermarkets.
Plug out your electronical devices when you charged them. It’s something I have to remind myself too all the time. Eve if they’re turned off they still consume enery.
The lighter your luggage the less carbon emission it causes. An airplane needs more fuel depending on the weight it carries.
Take public transportation whenever possible. This not only is more eco-friendly but also an adventure on its own. Another idea is to jump on a bike instead of a scooter and enjoying the nature without the noice of an engine or simply walk.
Obviously all of this little changes can be applied not only for holidays but in our daily lifestyle too! They take no big effort but have a big effect with every single person being more conscious about their impact on the planet 🌎 ❤️.
Helpful tools & inspiration:
For every booked accommodation one tree gets planted.
Discover climate changing actions you can support.
Bring with you some supplies needed in the country you travel to
Scan the barcode of your food and cosmetics to buy more healthy and conscious products.
Know what is inside of the products you consume.