Packing tips for ethical travellers*
In the last year or so I’ve tried to travel more sustainably. The impact that travel and tourism can have on the globe can be huge – it’s harder to recycle while travelling, single-use plastics are abundant and taking a lot of flights leads to a huge carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. There’s also the effect that travelling can have on a destination – increased numbers of visitors, and the mistreatment and exploitation of people or animals.
I don’t want to stop travelling and exploring the world but I also want to protect it. And I’m not alone – according to Opodo 72% of tourists want to act now to become more sustainable. Click here to find out more about ethical travelling.
So here are some tips that we can all easily do to make our travel more sustainable.
Swap out your liquids
I have now stopped using a lot of single use plastics in my beauty products – instead I use bars for soap, shampoo and conditioner and I buy moisturiser in recyclable aluminium jars. Quite a lot of hotels have also stopped providing single use plastics.
This is also great for when you’re travelling with just hand luggage as they don’t count towards your liquid limits. I travelled to Ibiza last year with just hand luggage which I thought was going to be really difficult (the outfits, the make-up!) and this really helped me.
Cut down on single-use plastics
As well as the above tip, you can cut down on your single use plastics by bringing a reusable water bottle and coffee cup with you and taking them out and about with you during your travels. This will also save you money as you won’t need to buy any bottles of water and a lot of cafes charge less when they fill up your reusable cup.
Make sure you finish any liquids before you go through security and ensure that the water in your chosen destination is safe to drink before you fill up your bottle.
Be aware of single use plastics when you’re out and about too – ensure that the barman doesn’t pop a plastic straw into your cocktail at the bar.
Use public transport
By moving more people with fewer vehicles, public transport is a great sustainable alternative to taking your car everywhere. Most cities have good public transportation systems and lots of options for getting around. For example, Vienna has a subway, trains, buses and trams and one ticket can cover your journey on any of these.
There are other benefits to using public transport too – you get to see different aspects of your destination and you don’t need to worry about driving in an unfamiliar environment. I also think it makes you feel like you’re travelling more authentically, like a local might.
Snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia last year really opened my eyes to the damage that humans are doing to the ocean. Ingredients in your sun cream can damage coral and therefore food chains for the rest of the animals that live in the ocean. Fortunately there are a number of ethical brands that have produced biodegradable sun cream so you can protect your skin AND the ocean.
Cut your water usage
An oldie but a goodie. Recent water shortages in Johannesburg have highlighted even more the need for us to conserve water. Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth and keeping your showers short will really help to save water.
What are your top tips for ethical travelling? Let me know in the comments!
[post in collaboration with Opodo]