7 Simple Ways to Travel Green

Within the past year I’ve traveled a lot. And recently I questioned what I could do to be a more ecofriendly traveler. On my recent trip to California, I made an effort to keep an eye out for tips and suggestions. Here is what I found:

1. Invest in reusable travel containers

Photo courtesy Haley McQueen.

Instead of buying disposable toiletries for your carry-on, spend some cash on reusable bottles. Filling reusable bottles is not only more cost effective but using them reduces you plastic waste. Additionally, instead of using a plastic, quart sized bag to store your toiletries purchase a clear travel approved one that can be reused.

2. Bring a reusable bottle or cup.

Not only will you not have to buy that seven-dollar bottle of water but you will also be reducing your plastic waste making its way to the landfill! Most airports now have convenient bottle filers making it easy to use a reusable bottle. Additionally, when purchasing other beverages (sodas, coffee, tea, etc.) ask the cashier if they can use your cup or bottle instead of the disposable one; most will happily oblige.

3. Throw a reusable grocery bag into your luggage before you leave.

Not only can it come in handy but you’ll be reducing the waste of pesky plastic bags. I always pack one but they came especially useful when I traveled to places that had plastic bag bans (Hong Kong, China, California, etc.)

4. Seek out recycling and compost bins while traveling.

On my most recent trip, I noticed that several airports had composting and recycling bins available for their customers. Almost everything that you buy can either be recycled or composted. Next time you travel try to find the recycling or compost bin before tossing your waste into a trash can.

5. Use more eco-friendly modes of transportation while traveling!

Instead of toting yourself around in that expensive rental try other various modes of transport. Public transportation such as buses, trains or subways are all cheaper, ecofriendly options. Additionally, try biking or walking to where you need to go. Depending on what you are traveling for walking or biking can expand you experience and decrease your carbon foot print!

6. Ditch commercialized stores for local stores.

Buying meals, groceries or essentials from local companies goes a long way. Shopping at local places does a few things: helps local business owners, decreases your carbon footprint and allows you to experience the local vibes. All in all it’s a win for you and the environment.

7. Invest in a “Carbon Offset.”

Carbon offsets help to reduce your carbon footprint. By purchasing a carbon offset you are helping to support projects that aim in reducing carbon. An example of a carbon offset project is the Ghana Clean Water Project, this project installs water filters to reduce greenhouse gases and provide clean water to those who need it. Additional information about carbon offsets and more projects options can be found here with the Nature Conservancy.

Traveling green doesn’t have to be hard. Just use some of the travel tips found above to reduce, reuse and recycle. Remember that every little bit helps in the fight to keep Mother Earth clean and healthy!  

Thumbnail photo courtesy Abigail Megginson