With the population growing at exponential rates and global resources getting more and more scarce it is important that everyone does what they can to help our environment.
Many of our volunteers that come join us in South Africa are world travellers and understanding ones carbon footprint when travelling can be tricky. In an effort to guide our volunteers and any other travellers we put together five tips on eco friendly travel to keep in mind when planning your next trip to ensure that helping our environment is kept top of mind.
Step 1: Choose eco-friendly accommodation.
When looking for a place to stay, do your research and decide on eco-friendly lodges or hostels. Eco-friendly accommodations will help minimize your carbon footprint through solar panels, communal cooking and minimal electrical use.
If you do decide to stay at a hotel, try to minimize your output by reusing towels, turning off the lights and eating local produce.
Step 2: Travel Lightly.
This is a tough one, especially if you are on a long trip and going through multiple climates. Reducing the weight of your luggage will reduce the amount of fuel needed to transport it around. Plus, if you travel lightly, you have less to carry around!
Step 3: Use reusable bags and containers.
Globally there is a large initiative to reduce the amount of plastic bags being produced and used, which is a great start to help the environment. As a traveller, you are constantly packing and repacking and staying organized can be tough but using reusable bags or packing blocks is a great alternative and perfect way to keep your luggage organized.
Step 4: Carry your own water bottle.
Not all countries have safe drinking water but MOST do. Being able to refill your bottle from local water sources is the only way to go! Constantly buying plastic bottles is extremely harmful to the environment due to the waste they produce.
Step 5: Use eco-friendly gadgets.
When packing for your trip and getting all your supplies together try to find eco friendly items such as solar powered phone chargers, rechargeable batteries and e-books. Many travel stores offer a wide range of eco friendly items.
Making a conscious effort to be more eco friendly is important not only when travelling but in one’s day-to-day life. Any environmentalist will be able to tell you that our earth will not last much longer with the way society functions and exploits resources. It is up to the younger generations to be responsible and make a strong effort to live eco friendly.