It was one of our new year’s resolutions for 2018 to become more conscious, sustainable, eco travellers, and we have done just that.
This year more than ever, our travels have shown us firsthand the severity of global warming and plastic pollution. Everywhere we have been, there have been clear signs. The rivers, streets, beaches, and oceans are riddled with plastic. The weather has been more out of control than ever, with wide-spread forest fires, flooding, earthquakes and tsunamis.
As overwhelming as it is, we have taken positive, motivated action to make a change. When planning your next adventure, consider these sustainable travel tips, just as you would consider visas, accommodation and transport!
With our collective efforts, we can make a real, impactful difference! Together, #WhaleBeOkay
1. Re-usable Water Bottle
This one is huge, yet also the most simple swap to make. When travelling to new countries, especially those outside of the western world, the tap water isn’t safe to drink. This means day in day out, the most common solution to make is to buy plastic bottled water. Not only is this bad quality water, but it is the most wasteful way to stay hydrated.
It has been so incredibly easy to travel with a reusable water bottle. Everywhere you go there is a cafe or hotel who will refill your bottle for you from there filters. Most of the time this is free, but sometimes they might ask for a small fee of a dollar or so. We were more than happy to pay this and as confident as hell to speak up and ask for a refill.
We worked out that we saved a minimum of roughly 350 plastic bottles being discarded from our travels this year. That figure is crazy – and we’re just 2 people. Just think of the impact we could have if we all did this.
A reusable water bottle that I am going to invest in before taking off on our next adventure will be one with a built-in filtration system. This means that you can fill up your bottle from literally anywhere and have clean, bacteria-free drinking water. That is phenomenal. And when I say anywhere, I really mean it. Even a dirty river in Vietnam will work. I’ve got my eye on the one below.. (click the photo)
2. Reusable (plastic-free) cutlery & containers
Bringing your own reusable straws, cutlery and food containers is the easiest thing ever and it is so useful. Not only will you be reducing plastic waste wherever you go, but you’ll also ALWAYS have the right tools on you when you need them; such as exploring the local food markets, packing snacks for your hike and enjoying that coconut you found on the beach. It’s win-win. Click the pictures for some examples!
3. Shopper tote bag
Tote bags roll up super small in your backpack/suitcase and can double up as a laundry bag and a beach bag when you’re not using it! This is a super useful plastic-free option to have with you. Whether you’re buying souvenirs in the market or doing some food shopping, you’ll have it covered. In addition, if you have a daypack, that works just as good!
4. Conscious snacking
It’s easy to forget about snacks on the road, especially when taking long journeys from one location to the next. Unfortunately, almost all of the options you’ll find along the way will be wrapped in plastic, and you’ll most likely not have a suitable way to dispose of it either.
The key here is preparation and making the effort. Now you’ve got your reusable food containers, instead of stocking up on plastic covered snacks beforehand or on route, take the time to get a proper meal/snack put into your own takeaway container. In addition, choose local fresh produce like fruit and veggies instead of finding the nearest 7Eleven. Not only are you reducing your environmental impact and supporting the locals, but you might just find a new favourite delicacy that blows your taste buds away! This is what travelling is all about.
5. Give back
Leave every place you visit in a better condition than what you find it in. Look up local beach cleanups, volunteer your time to local charities, causes and animal shelters, trust me, they’ll appreciate your help more than you know. You’ll also get a truly authentic and rewarding travel experience and really get to know the people. Everyone can go to the ‘insta spots’ – but remember that this is someone’s actual home, their life. Get out of your comfort zone, do something that matters, have a real experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Travel deeper.
6. Conscious spending
Take the time to research the companies, hotels, stores, and organisations of where you are travelling to and seek out the ones making a real effort to do good. Support the ones who are making eco-conscious choices. We vote with our purchases – make sure it’s going to the right place. Let’s show the world what we want, and everyone will soon catch on.
7. Conscious transport
Lessen your carbon footprint by taking the least impactful transport option possible. Walk whenever possible, share cars or tuk-tuks with other travellers, take public transport like buses, trains and ferries rather than going privately. These small choices add up, and they’re cheaper too!
I hope these quick and easy tips have helped you to prepare for your next trip. Let’s be a community of travellers who truly care about the world we are exploring! If you have any more tips, we’d love to hear from you!
Stay tuned for our Plastic-Free Packing Guide for all of your travelling needs!
Much love & light xo