How much thought do you give to the environmental impact of your travels? Today, I’m sharing three earth friendly travel tips that are easy to accomplish but make a big impact if we all practice them.
When Alan and I travel, the experience almost always includes spending time in a natural setting. There’s nothing better than putting our feet on the ground on a walk or hike to truly connect us to a place.
Being outdoors in the purity of nature is soul soothing. And studies indicate that it’s also good for your health. Whether we’re involved in an outdoor boomer travel adventure or simply sitting on a secluded beach taking in the sights and sounds, we return home with our optimism refreshed and a renewed appreciation of the environment.
Of course the act of traveling is harmful to the very nature that we’re so busy appreciating. Making small changes to the way we travel can offset some of that damage. Here are three earth friendly travel tips that are easy to add to your routine.
Bring a water bottle from home
What happens to the millions of plastic water bottles that travelers use as they make their way around the world? According to David Grossman’s column in USA Today, 25% of those bottles end up in the ocean. And since plastic bottles cannot be burned due to toxic emissions, the rest end up in landfills or as litter on the side of the road in third world countries where sanitation is not an affordable option.
Why not purchase a BPA-free water bottle for travel (and at home too)? When flying, wait until after going through security to fill it up from a water fountain in the concourse. If you don’t trust the local water source, purchase bottled water in as large a container as possible, then transfer the water to your water bottle as needed. Sanitizing the local water is an even better option using a SteriPEN, filter or iodine tablets.
Turn it off
I’m guessing that you practice energy conservation measures at home to save money and the environment. But on a trip, do you leave unnecessary lights on or keep the air conditioner thermostat set too low? It’s sure tempting to do so, right? After all, you’re not the one paying the energy bill.
But you are paying when it comes to the environment. That’s why many European accommodations require guests to insert their room key in a slot by the front door to operate the lights or AC. Unfortunately, that option isn’t available worldwide. So remember, when leaving your hotel room or cruise suite during the day, turn off the lights and set the AC higher, or turn it off all together. Environmental awareness doesn’t come much simpler or easier than this.
When traveling, look for local products, whether that means souvenirs or food items in a restaurant. It doesn’t take much effort and, in the process, you’re helping to reduce the carbon footprint of imported items. Experiencing more of the local culture is an added bonus.
These simple earth friendly travel tips aren’t that hard to practice. And you’ll be protecting the outdoors that provides so much for our enjoyment and health.
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