CONSCIOUS TRAVEL - A Starter Guide To Zero Waste Travel
15th September 2020
Taking care of our environment is something we should do no matter where we are. The excessive waste is affecting the whole world so every affectionate good deed matters. Even when you are roaming around the world, broadening your mindset, and absorbing new experiences, you can still take care of our planet.
Zero waste travel made a huge impact on the travelling community. Since the tourism industry carries a lot of negative consequences such as single-use plastic and food waste, zero waste movement tries to balance that out. If you are ready to become a zero-waste traveller, here are a few tips that will help you to plan your trip.
Choose Your Airline Carefully
While airlines still present a big problem for the environment, some of them are committed to making positive changes. For example, Portuguese carrier Hi Fly operated the world’s first single-use plastic-free flight in December 2018.
When choosing an airline, consider the following companies which are thoughtful of their eco-friendly travellers:
● Alaska Airlines
● Delta Air Lines
● American Airlines
● United Airlines
● British Airways
You can find out more about how these airlines are contributing to zero waste travelling on the AlternativeAirlines website post. They listed some other companies that you can also consider.
Pack Your Own Snacks
If your flight won’t last long, choose a no meal option. Consequently, you won’t use the meal packed in plastic. However, you will need to pack the snacks to eat before the flight, that is before you get to customs.
What you can do when your flight is long and you need to have a meal is to eat everything because even if you don’t open the food it will get thrown away.
Additionally, refuse to use the plastic cutlery and use your own reusable one.
Go For Self-Catering Accommodation
Restaurants and hotels throw out a lot of unserved and uneaten food. Not to mention the takeaway waste such as plastic cutlery, plates, and plastic bags.
Self-catering accommodation allows you to cook the food in the comfort of your apartment. You can shop at local markets and therefore, support the local community. Don't forget to bring your own cloth bag for the groceries.
For accommodation options, you can check out sites like Airbnb or Booking.com. Filter the search to make sure that the place has a kitchen, whether it is a shared one or just for yourself. Houses are the best options since there you can also compost and recycle.
Prepare Your Zero Waste Travelling Kit
In order to succeed in your zero waste intentions, you need to be prepared. There are some items that are a necessity for eliminating extensive waste.
The biggest problem during travelling when it comes to plastic are bottles, bags, cups, and straws. That is why you need to find an alternative.
Carry a reusable bottle so you can fill it up when you find drinkable water. In case there is no drinkable water in your destination country, think about carrying a water filtration device. Instead of using plastic cutlery, carry a reusable spork. Pack a few handkerchiefs (cloth napkins) so that you won’t have to use the paper ones.
“I’m trying to minimize in-flight waste by bringing my own headphones, a blanket, and an eye mask. I never go anywhere without my travel equipment. Even such small steps can make a difference,” advises Melanie Sovann, a zero-waste traveller and contributing writer at TrustMyPaper.
If you use a head torch, find a USB rechargeable model so you won’t have to use batteries.
Checking your bags means that you'll end up with stickers that can't be recycled. Avoid that by only travelling with a carry-on.
When you think about it, what is the point of over-packing? The goal of travelling is to have fun and immerse yourself in new experiences. Remember that you should aim at collecting memories not buying things.
You can find a big backpacking backpack that can store a great amount of stuff. Or if you prefer suitcases, just go for a smaller, carry-on size.
Avoid Paper Prints
Let’s give a paperless travel a try! Replace a printed plane ticket with a digital one, and scan all the needed documents so you can have them on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
“We need to use this digital era to the planet’s advantage. I always aim to find a digital alternative to any type of printed documents when I travel. Whether it is a plane ticket or a concert ticket, I have it all in an electronic format,” says Estelle Leotard a blogger and writer at GrabMyEssay.
When it comes to transportation within the destination country, find out if there are apps for bus, train, and metro lines. If there are, download that in advance so that you can purchase and use e-tickets.
Also, try to avoid taking receipts. Only ask for one if it’s completely necessary. Besides accumulating paper, receipts can be covered with carcinogenic BPA.
Bring Your Soap and Shampoo
There are a few options that beat buying and throwing bottles of soaps and shampoos. For example, you can buy a soap bar to avoid a plastic bottle and besides, it takes up less space. Another option is to carry shampoo and soap two in one wash.
Try to avoid single-use plastic bottles of soaps and shampoos in hotels. They create a lot of waste and aren’t a necessity. Especially considering all the alternatives.
Walk Or Bike Whenever You Can
Not only does walking and biking lead to zero-emission but they are also good for your health. Whenever you have the opportunity, walk or rent a bike instead of going by car or a bus.
Walking is also the best way to explore any city and get to meet the culture of the people. That is what we call an authentic travel experience.
If you enjoy biking, this is your chance to contribute to zero waste movement and get your muscles into shape. Find out the best places to rent a bike in advance and inquire about the most enjoyable biking routes to ensure yourself a good time.
Some Final Thoughts
Making an effort to fight against the human impact on the planet is an admirable move. Each and every traveller who decides to dedicate their time to educate themselves about zero waste travel is making a difference.
By making some changes in your lifestyle, you are contributing to our future. Just a few conscious decisions and mindful actions can make you one of the planet's care.
Author Bio: Kristin Savage is a copywriter and freelance blogger. She’s currently working as a writer at Classy Essay. Kristin is also an editor at Top Essay Writing and Subjecto. Her passion for writing has turned into a career and her main goal is to always provide accurate, reliable information.
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