How to Be an Eco-Friendly Traveler (and Enjoy Yourself )



4 tips to help preserve the environment this summer

Around 460 days ago—almost 11,000 total hours—COVID-19 started to make its way into the world and changed our lives forever.   A whole year ‌  after stay-at-home lockdown orders began and borders were closed down to prevent the spread of the virus, it seems we’re finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Increased  vaccination efforts ‌  and a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases has led to a general lifting of travel restrictions across the globe, and people everywhere are beginning to feel confident about their travel plans leading up to the second half of 2021—and well into 2022.

Although we all have the right to travel and see the world in our best capacity, this isn’t to say our freedom does not bear any responsibility. We are and should be held accountable for any loss in our environment, and any damage that results from our direct interactions with nature, at home or while traveling abroad.

Below you’ll find 4 important strategies that will help you lessen the impact of your adventures on Mother Earth, plus plenty of reasons to be excited about  adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle ‌  for the long-term, not just while traveling abroad.

An Eco-Friendly Guide to Post-Pandemic Travel

We’d all like to travel the world as much as humanly possible while we’re here, and getting into the right mindset can help preserve our planet for generations to come, so that everyone that comes after us can enjoy the wonders nature has to offer while still making sure that our precious planet endures.

Although some would argue that  carbon offsetting ‌  is a modern way of reducing your carbon emissions, this topic is outside the scope of this article, so we’ll only focus on strategies that can be adapted to everyday life—not just for when you’re visiting a beautiful city!

Five Strategies to Help You Protect the Planet While Abroad

Tip #1: Consumption Strategy

A lot has been written about  the side effects ‌  of our current food consumption, and while most of us have nothing to do with the corporations in charge of producing the food that goes to waste every year—we do have a say in what we put in our mouths, day in and day out.

Adopting a healthier diet means consuming way less than what we’re programmed to think is healthy. Although this is a gradual change that takes months to merge into our lifestyles, the benefits associated with a healthier diet are directly related to longer, better lives.

Take this to another country, and you’d be helping to save emissions everywhere from food production to preparation, and disposal.

So, what does this look like in practice? It means eating exactly what you need in order to fuel your body to continue your day. It doesn’t mean starving. It means eating from local produce shops instead of buying from fancy restaurants or fast food—although you can splurge every once in a while, just make sure you bring along your own reusable cutlery and straws. You won’t look weird doing so, you’ll be thought of as “conscious” and “cool”.

Also, before making your way to the airport, consider leaving behind your plastic water bottles and bringing a reusable water tumblr made of friendlier plastics that can be washed and reused.

Tip #2: Transportation

We’re all guilty of driving our cars out of habit rather than walking to get our groceries. For some, it simply isn’t possible to walk to and from places where there isn’t widely available public transportation—and that’s okay.

If you want to reduce your carbon emissions, consider taking a bus or train to work instead of driving your own car. Rideshare services can also help, although some would argue that they go against  what public transportation stands for. ‌ 

When it comes to traveling, you can start reducing your emissions by minimizing the amount of luggage you carry, and ultimately, what you bring back home. It also helps to plan out your trip days ahead of time, and taking some time to research your destination’s public transport options.

Tip #3: Think through the Destination

Unless you’re planning a trip to a heavily populated city where there already is a scarcity of green areas and parks to visit, you almost always have options to enjoy a  nice day outdoors. ‌ 

For some, planning a trip is almost as fun as the actual trip, so spend some time thinking about what’s important to you when visiting a new country. Is it the historical artifacts found at local museums? Is it diving into the local cuisine? Do you prefer places where there is a higher availability of activities outdoors?

Thinking through your destination can also help you find “  greener ‌  ” destinations—that is, places and countries that incentivize environmentally-friendly initiatives such as green areas, highly-developed public transportation, greywater recycling, and rooftop gardens. Some cities that come to mind are Austria, Berlin, São Paulo, and Munich.

Tip #4: Enjoy yourself!

Don’t forget to lighten up and have fun! Do what you can with what you have to make your experience memorable and worthwhile, but also do what you can to keep our planet safe. It’s pretty simple.

It’s easy to get caught up in today’s expectations of travel and leisure. By simply thinking about our impact on the environment, we’re already making strides towards a greener future, while setting the tone for our younger generations who will, in turn, do the same when it is their time.

Adopting these strategies for daily life

It’s been a long time since COVID-19 put a damper on our daily lives and essentially hijacked our travel plans. As such, it’s understandable that most of us are really excited about the return to normalcy and retaking our adventures as soon as time permits.

Regardless, safety precautions and travel restrictions continue to be the daily bread and butter of our time, so having a  solid backup strategy ‌  can help to overcome any obstacles we may face in our travels.

Using the strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be doing your part to take care of our environment with little to no effort. With small, incremental changes, these strategies can also be applied to everyday life, and once you’ve got your foot in the door, you’ll start to see why it’s important for all of us to address ourselves in the race to save our planet.

Author Bio:

Wally De La Rosa is a digital marketer and outreach specialist at Money.com. He is passionate about web development and product marketing and spends his time learning about the latest technologies to implement on his website and startup business.






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