5 Simple Ways To Become A More Eco-Friendly Traveler This Year

Traveling the world is one of the most important parts of my life, and it is equally important to my husband, which is why we make sure we prioritize and plan how we can include travel into our lives on a regular basis.

But as we have begun to venture further and further into living more sustainable, eco-friendly lives, travel has been a difficult part of the sustainable puzzle to address. In many ways there is a lot that is not within your control when traveling, but there are also so many small things that can help make your traveling more eco-friendly, and sustainable, not to mention respectful of the locations and people who are sharing their home and culture with you. 

5 Simple Ways To Become A More Eco-Friendly Traveler This Year

While tourism is a wonderful part of our global economy and for many countries is the backbone of their GDP, tourism also has a really dark side that not a whole lot of people like to address. Throughout our travels, Mike and I have seen some horrible issues associated with tourism-related pollution, and lack of respect for the local country that it made us really passionate about continuing to travel the world in a way that takes the environment and social responsibility into account. 

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So if you are looking to bring more eco-friendly practices into your traveling adventures this year as well, here are our top five favorite ways to become a more eco-friendly traveler, and start positively impacting the world around you, as you set off to explore this beautiful planet we get to call home. 

5 Simple Ways To Become A More Eco-Friendly Traveler This Year

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Seek out eco-friendly AirBnB's and boutique hotels

Since AirBnB has flipped the hotel accommodation industry on its head, it is now easier than ever to find accommodations that are committed to eco-friendly living, and supporting the local environment with eco-friendly practices. 

Whenever we travel, we now will look for an eco-conscious boutique hotel, or an AirBnB property that details how they prioritize environmentally friendly practices on their property. Usually the hosts of these locations are as into sustainable living as we are, and are able to tell us a lot about the environmental and sustainability issues associated with the area we are traveling in, and how we can spend our time best experiencing and serving the community we are visiting. 

Bring reusable travel silverware, straws, and water bottles to avoid unnecessary waste

Once you start paying attention to how much plastic you use and waste while traveling you will realize that there actually are so many ways to become a more environmentally friendly traveler just by watching your plastic use. 

I love bringing a reusable water bottle and a travel utensil set with us while we travel. This helps us avoid the need for disposable water bottle, cups, plastic silverware, and straws. 

I also will pack my toiletries and snacks in these stasher bags, which we are completely obsessed with and have entirely replaced plastic bags.

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Support local conservation efforts in the location you are visiting

One of the saddest things I have witnessed traveling this beautiful world is the lack of respect for nature, and conservation areas. So whenever we travel, Mike and I will always seek out what environmental or conservation areas are in the location we are visiting, and look into how we can support those organizations.

Sometimes it is paying for a guided hike that supports the local conservatory, while other times it may be as simple as no venturing into restricted protected lands, or making sure we have CLEANED UP AFTER OURSELVES when we leave the beach or a hike. 

Plastic pollution and trash in general is a major issue in most developed countries who may not have the infrastructure in place to manage the influx of tourism created waste.

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Walk or rent bikes when exploring your new location (assuming it is safe)

While it may be tempting to rent a car to explore the area you are traveling (and sometimes you may not have another choice), we often will try our best to rent bikes, or walk as much as possible as our form of transportation. 

This means that we usually will be tracking over 15 miles per day, sometimes more depending on where we are traveling, but it is such a wonderful way to truly experience a place like the locals do. This is such a simple way to become a more conscious, eco-friendly traveler, and will help you reduce your travel carbon-footprint really without even trying. 

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Choose locally sourced authentic food

Use the time you are traveling to explore new foods that you may not have access to back home. Instead of seeking out familiar western food options, opt for whatever is traditionally consumed as part of the native food culture. Relish in local fruits and vegetables, and soak up the many delicious flavors you are sure to experience. 

Eating locally and supporting the local agriculture is one of the best ways you can reduce your carbon footprint while traveling, and encourage more local foods to remain in the country, rather than be grown exclusively for export.

I hope that you found these simple tips for how to become a more eco-friendly traveler this year helpful, and you will keep them in mind the next time you are planning your next adventure. Traveling is a wonderful way to open your eyes to the world around you, but it should be done with social integrity, and environemental responsibility.