How to be an eco-friendly, alternative traveler

Some things to live by if you want to travel and save the Earth all at the same time. Source: Shutterstock.

YOU MAY BE THE ECO-FRIENDLIEST person at home, but are you equally as eco-friendly when you travel?

Travel has been a big contributor to sustainability that needs to be addressed, and there are many commonly overlooked things that you as a traveler can do to ensure that your trips are eco-friendly.

Granted, there will be things that are not within your control while you’re on the road.

But there are some things you can do to ensure you show your destination the same amount of love and respect as you would back home. Start by being an alternative traveler.

Here’s how:

Pack reusable straws

According to the Los Angeles Times, half a billion plastic straws are used and discarded every day.

The largest culprits are takeout sodas, frappucinos, smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and bubble tea/boba, just to name a few.

Source: Shutterstock.

Restaurant and cafes also serve drinks accompanied by a complimentary plastic straw – even if the drink can do without one.

The solution? Pack along a reusable straw with you. Pick from a range of options such as bamboo, glass, or stainless steel.

This one looks particularly interesting and very portable too:

Chuck it in a tote

There’s a likelihood that you’re going to be doing some shopping when you travel, but please refuse plastic bags.

According to Earth Day Network, it’s estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually, and only one percent of plastic bags are recycled.

Source: Shutterstock.

The World Economic Forum reported that every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. That reality is shocking.

Some countries are already cracking down on stores that hand out free plastic bags after purchase.

So the next time you travel, pack a couple of cloth tote bags and chuck your shopping in there.

Source: Shutterstock.

Fill up your tumbler

Water gives life, but not the plastic bottles that it comes in.

“Humans buy about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute in total. Only about 23 percent of plastic bottles are recycled within the US,” Earth Day Network wrote.

Source: Shutterstock.

Why buy, drink, and dispose of when you can fill up your tumbler with the life-giving juice for almost free?

Pack a hardy water bottle and fill it up at your hotel or accommodation before you head out for easy, everyday drinking.

If you’re feeling particularly fancy, get a fruit infuser water bottle.

Source: Amazon.

Walk or bike it

One fantastic way to offset your carbon footprint and also enrich your travel experience all at the same time is by walking.

That’s right. Assuming that the city is safe, there’s no better way to soak in the sights and sounds of your destination than on foot.

Source: Shutterstock.

Discover alleyways and tucked away restaurants that would’ve been otherwise hidden from view if you chose to take the underground subway instead.

Not much of a walker? That’s fine. Bike it instead of renting a car.

The best part is you also get to put some work out into your travel.

Source: Giphy.

Ella, ella, ella

While ponchos are lifesavers, the amount of plastic that it uses isn’t generally fantastic.

Solution to overcoming bad weather while traveling? Don’t go anywhere without a foldable umbrella.

Source: Giphy.

Whether it’s to keep the scorching sun out of your face or to provide shelter on a rainy day, it sure beats buying a disposable poncho.

Besides, ponchos are harder to manage when you’re out and about say, shopping.

With a foldable umbrella like this one, you can simply whip it out when needed and quickly store it in your bag or back pocket when you’re done.

Source: Davek New York.

Happy traveling and saving the Earth, one trip at a time!