By Julie B.
It does not always seem easy to be a green traveller, and it may appear almost impossible to journey around the world in an environmentally conscious way. But there are a few small changes you can make to your travels that can aid you in having a positive impact on the destination you travel to. Here are a few tops tips for going green on your next adventure:
Choose a green hotel and tour company
First off, be responsible by taking the time to make informed decisions. Things to look out for are the hotel policy on cleaning products, frequency of housekeeping, recycling, and whether they use renewable energy or not. Certifications exist to monitor these credentials, and the ones to aim for are EcoRooms, EcoSuites, Green Globe International, Green Key Globaland Green Seal.
Often, the most eco-friendly establishments are smaller B&B’s or family run hotels, so consider supporting the local economy and avoiding large chains. Try and source a local tour guide if possible, and research the company’s ethical and environmental practices before booking.
Cycle, walk or take public transport
Try and avoid car journeys if possible and instead get a unique feel for the city by using public transport. Buses, trams, trains and metros expose you to the reality of a place beyond the tourist attractions, and enable you to interact with locals and experience their day-to-day culture.
Absorbing the destination at a slower pace on foot or by bicycle can be a wonderful experience. Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, be sure to stock up on bike parts from Radial Cycles so that the adventure does not get cut short. Walking is a great option because it enables you to explore at a much more detailed and leisurely pace so perhaps consider hiking to your next stop!
Don’t use plastic bottles
Purchase a re-usable water bottle and shun the disposable culture of plastic bottles as they are incredibly difficult to dispose of and proving an enormous ecological problem the world over.
Alternatively, you can buy a water filter and make your tap water safe to drink. There are many brands and designs available, and technology is improving all the time. Some are battery powered, others manual, and most fit easily in a day bag. You can make large quantities safe at a time, or you can simply use it in small glasses to feel safe drinking local beverages.
Don’t leave things behind
It can be hard for developing countries to dispose of waste, so take rubbish home with you. Items like batteries, plastic bottles, plastic bags and unwanted or broken electrical goods will all end-up in landfill and will put a strain on the waste infrastructure in getting there. With the exception of donating clothes to charities, it is best to dispose of waste back home.
There are many ways to travel green but by simply booking conscientiously, exploring alternative transports, filtering water and taking rubbish home, you can make an enormous difference to the destination you visit.