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8 Eco-Friendly Travel Tips for Your Next Vacation

— April 24, 2019

Exploring our world in an eco-friendly way is not only possible, but fun! There are many ways in which you can trek new frontiers while staying green.

Do you have a passion for travel but are not sure about the impact your adventures have on the environment? Today, there are ways to make your world exploration eco-friendly and sustainable with only a few changes to your regular travel routine. Here are some handy travel tips for your next green vacation. 

Choose an ethical travel destination

First things first, pick the right destination. Luckily, there are many countries that are doing their part in a global fight against climate change. For instance, Costa Rica is fully committed to protecting and preserving its natural treasures which they choose to do by getting almost all their energy from completely renewable sources (95%). 

If Central America is a bit too far from your home, you can opt for Iceland. Even though it has one of the least hospitable climates in the world, Iceland and its people are deeply committed to being environmentally conscious and kind to everything Mother Nature provides for them. Their abundant geothermal resources are used all over the country, but what Icelanders are proud of is their clean-the-oceans initiative and the sustainable fishing practices that help protect marine life and maintain fish stock. 

New Zealand is another great destination for green travel. This country is in the middle of a huge battle with fossil fuels and is dedicated to becoming 100% powered by renewable sources by 2040! Because New Zealand is an island country, it doesn’t lack wind and geothermal energy, which are two things that are shaping its future. Not only are Kiwis focusing on green energy and tech, but they also have deep-rooted respect towards nature which rewarded them with some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. 

Choose eco-friendly transportation

Car driving down dirt road through fields of brown grass, storm clouds in the sky; image by Kévin Langlais, via
Car driving down dirt road through fields of brown grass, storm clouds in the sky; image by Kévin Langlais, via

Before you even settle on a destination, you can research a sustainable airline. For instance, Alaska Airlines recycles a lot of the materials from flights, runs a massive composting program and shifted to sustainable aviation biofuel. If you want to be even greener, eco-friendly cars use less gas and produce less emissions. They are also super reliable and provide maximum comfort during your road trips. 

Choose a green tour company 

Probably the best way to ensure the most accurate information is to hire a local guide. This way, you’ll learn so much about the culture, but also fuel your destination’s economy. When choosing a tour company, make sure they proudly promote their humane and ethical ways of doing business. Also, pick guides with great respect for the local flora and fauna and those who take the destination’s social and political issues seriously. 

Pack light

Traveling light has a huge impact on the environment! Sure, shoving everything you own in your suitcase might be tempting, but the enormous weight of your luggage will not only slow you down on your travels but also have other consequences. For instance, let’s say you pack only one suitcase instead of two. That means your car or plane will be 20 kilograms lighter which equals lower fuel consumption! 

Eat locally sourced food

Purchasing local products means you’re helping reduce CO2, but you’re also supporting local businesses and small suppliers. And, since food is one of the best things about traveling, it would really be a shame not to indulge in some local produce! So, instead of packing your suitcases with food from your home country, buy some local goods. You will certainly discover new tastes you didn’t even know existed, all while being green! Additionally, make sure to pack a reusable shopping bag or empty your backpack when you’re going shopping for groceries. You can now pack reusable bamboo cutlery, thus cutting down on plastic waste.

Drink local 

Ever heard of the term ‘near beer’? It’s a growing concept, but certainly not a new one. Drinking near beer means that wherever you are, you’re drinking only beer that’s made somewhere nearby. And when you’re traveling, why not sample some new tastes and grab a local beer? Not only are you being more eco-conscious, but you’re also supporting small, local breweries! 

Stay with a friend or in a homeshare

This might come as a surprise, but staying with a friend or in a homeshare is the most eco-friendly way to travel. Hotels are constantly laundering, wasting hygiene products, overusing air conditioning and heating and throwing away tons of food. However, if you don’t have a choice, there are hotels that practice sustainability and eco-friendliness—you just have to dig a bit deeper. 

Leave a light footprint 

Don’t just leave your destination the same as you found it (which hopefully goes without saying). Instead, try to leave it cleaner and better! Picking up a few pieces of trash on the beach or during your hike will take you exactly three seconds, but those three seconds might mean a lot to our suffering planet! 

See, you can follow new frontiers and still stay eco-friendly and sustainable. These travel tips will ensure our planet stays green and healthy for many, many generations of new explorers! 

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