A solo male travelers backpacking in Southeast Asia

Published: 2/17/2020 Feb 17th, 2020

After many years around the sidelines, sustainable travel makes its method to the forefront from the travel industry. Eco-friendly travel has become among the fastest-growing movements in the market, and that i, for just one, welcome this trend. It’s a remarkably important subject that I’ve been covering for a long time.

In the end, why destroy that which you love? Nobody wants to determine paradise paved over. All of us cringe whenever we go back to an overdeveloped, polluted destination. No one wish to lead to that particular.

Becoming an eco-friendly traveler is just as being a sincere traveler.

Once we make an effort to be eco conscious, the questions for travelers become:

How must we &#8220green&#8221 our travels?

So what can we all do to reduce our carbon footprint once we travel the planet?

Exactly how should we better communicate with the communities we visit?

What changes are we able to make which are really useful?

Flight shaming people isn’t the answer, but will we all just stay at home and quit traveling?

Fortunately, there’s really a great deal are going to as travelers to lessen our environmental footprint while adding towards the sustainability from the communities we visit.

Listed here are 13 concrete ways to take down ecological impact like a traveler:


1. Stay Near to Home

Although the exotic is definitely appealing, travel doesn’t need to be about going somewhere a long way away. Travel is the skill of exploration and discovery — which can equally well be nearby. Find somewhere near to home you haven’t been, enter your vehicle (or even better, go ahead and take bus), and go visit. Who knows what you’ll encounter!

“X” is definitely probably the most interesting place into the spotlight.


2. Make Greener Transportation Choices

If you’re able to, attempt to travel by train or bus. Besides this lower your carbon footprint but the likes of FlixBus, Megabus, and Greyhound also have some cheap tickets, so that you can cut costs too.

So when traveling by vehicle, consider offering rides with other travelers to reduce your collective emissions and spend less. Lots of people will gladly nick set for gas whether it saves them time, and that means you can help to save money minimizing your carbon footprint simultaneously. Win-win! Which will reduce your per-person transportation emissions in two (or even more). Use platforms like BlaBlaCar, Couchsurfing, and Craigslist to locate rideshares in your area.

Avoid flying or driving lengthy distances on your own whenever feasible.


3. Travel Slow

Whenever we travel abroad, there exists a inclination to hurry around around, attempting to absorb as numerous sights as you possibly can. I recieve that. In the end, not everybody could be permanent nomads, and if you have short time and aren’t confident that you’re heading back, I can tell why people “travel fast.”

However, besides this lift up your transportation costs since you’re moving a great deal, you finish up growing your carbon footprint. All individuals trains, buses, and planes accumulate. The less you are taking, the greater.

Furthermore, as being a good traveler not just means lowering your carbon footprint but additionally doing good through the communities you visit. Day-tripping earns hardly any money to communities but impacts their infrastructure heavily (it’s why the town of Hallstatt in Austria is restricting day tours). So attempt to remain at a spot for a least an evening.

Visiting less destinations is nice not just for the wallet and also the climate, it’s great for local neighborhoods too.

(Plus, slowing your travels enables you to become familiar with places inside a much deeper way, since you’ll reach take more time there. In travel, less could be more.)


4. Pack Smart

As the more knowledge about is determined by where you’re going, there’s a couple of things you’ll wish to bring along with you that will help you travel more sustainably:

  • Multiple-use water bottle – Nalgene makes durable bottles which are BPA-free making in the united states.
  • Water filtration – Many destinations do not have potable water, meaning you’re likely to be using a lot of single-use plastic. Rather, bring a Lifestraw or SteriPen. These units will purify your water so that you can drink from almost anywhere, making certain you are able to avoid single-use plastic containers.
  • BagOrthings sack – If you are traveling lengthy-term, bring a tote back or perhaps an extra stuff sack. They are utilized for purchasing groceries and steer clear of plastic bags. At other occasions, they may be used to keep the bag organized.
  • Diva cup – This can be a multiple-use menstrual cup. As I can’t speak from general observations, it’s something our resident solo female travel expert packs when she travels, since menstrual goods are not necessarily available (and may also be quite inefficient).
  • Utensils – Travel utensils (a fork, knife, and spoon, or simply a spork or some chopsticks) comes in handy if you are on a tight budget and intend on cooking your personal meals. However they&#8217re also helpful for street food and eating at restaurants, as possible avoid plastic utensils.

Furthermore, bring a little Tupperware container for leftovers. I usually find myself with extra food after i prepare in hostels. This can help avoid waste and offers food for the following day. It’s an incredible travel hack surprisingly couple of people utilize.


5. Fly with Less Connections

As I don’t have confidence in flight shaming, it’s impossible to deny that flying comes with a substantial carbon impact. Additionally to restricting your flying, use longer flights with less connections. Twenty-5 % of plane emissions occur during takeoff and landing, meaning should you fly shorter flights with increased connections, your emissions is going to be drastically greater.

Flying direct is just the more sensible choice eco, so go for any time possible.


6. Avoid Overvisited Destinations

If you’re able to, avoid metropolitan areas grappling with overtourism. You’ll find less crowds minimizing prices, so you will not be putting just as much stress on local neighborhoods battling to maintain. (And, from the sheer personal-enjoyment perspective, who would like to cope with crowds or lengthy lines? Nobody.)

Should you choose visit overtouristed places, for example Venice, Amsterdam, or Barcelona, choose a hotel or hostel rather of utilizing sites like Airbnb. Apartment rentals increase rents for locals and pressure them from the city center. Unless of course you’re sharing accommodation having a local if you rent then an area from their store (or using Couchsurfing), stay with hotels and hostels. Airbnb and other alike sites actually are harmful to metropolitan areas that do not have lots of housing.


7. Take Public Transit

After walking, public transit may be the next the easy way explore new destinations. On arrival, mind towards the local tourism office to discover the choices (in addition to any customer discounts readily available for riding on the bus).

Should you choose require a taxi, use ridesharing apps rather. Uber and Lyft possess a “pool” option in lots of metropolitan areas, which helps you to split your ride along with other travelers. While it might take longer to get at your destination, you will save money and make sure that your ride is really as eco-friendly as you possibly can.

With regards to longer distances, budget buses are the best way to get around, given that they usually pack in many passengers. Megabus and FlixBus are a couple of of the largest options.


8. Eat Local

Food that’s imported includes a much greater carbon footprint than in your area grown food (and it is not often as fresh either). To maintain your carbon footprint lower, eat just like a local. Stay with foods which are grown in your area, and steer clear of packaged and imported foods almost as much ast possible. This can make sure that you’re eating periodic produce, which not just will probably be the freshest but probably offer the local economy. (Also, stay with organic food if you’re able to.)

Sure, the odd Western comfort meal isn’t the finish around the globe, however the more you consume in your area, the greater you lower your ecological footprint and also the more you assist the local economy too. In the end, you didn’t arrived at Thailand to consume a hamburger you can get in your own home, right?


9. Reduce Meat and Dairy

I am not saying you have to go vegan. I really like meat rather than plan to stop bacon. But when you’re worried about the outcome of the food, lowering your meat and dairy intake is very useful. Over 25% of worldwide green house gas emissions originate from food — many individuals emissions come from animal products. So by reducing your meat and dairy consumption, you’ll drastically lower your carbon footprint. (Avoid Brazilian beef if you’re able to, as lot originates from removed rainforest land. Cattle ranching may be the #1 reason for rainforest deforestation on the planet. Same for soy too.)

Plus, it’s never been simpler to visit like a vegan or vegetarian, because there are a lot of amazing restaurants available — in addition to apps that will help you locate them (you are able to download the HappyCow application to get the best vegan and vegetarian options in your area).

Even though you take meat and dairy from one meal per week, you will be moving the needle in support of a lesser carbon footprint along with a more ethical diet.


10. Avoid Animal Attractions

A part of traveling eco-friendly helps another creatures that inhabit his earth. Which means you need to avoid all attractions which use captive wild creatures to keep things interesting. The most typical offenders are riding tigers, swimming with dolphins, visiting captive whales, and petting (drugged) tigers. These activities require animal abuse and jail time and really should be prevented.

Creatures would be best viewed within their natural settings. If you wish to discover their whereabouts, use a safari, jungle hike, or whale-watching tour and find out the creatures where they belong, within the wild.

If you wish to be a moral and responsible traveler, stay with taking photographs and steer clear of direct interactions with creatures.

For additional info on animal tourism and the way to cure it, take a look at these useful organizations:

  • World Animal Protection
  • Wildlife Watch


11. Lower Your Plastic Use

I personally don’t like plastic. It makes a lot of waste. From plastic containers to tooth paste tubes to bags, plastic sucks. The truth is that I am not perfect, and that i still use an excessive amount of, but I’m always attempting to reduce my consumption (fitness center abroad).

Staying away from plastic whenever possible is a terrific way to lower your ecological impact. You can purchase a multiple-use water bottle, use tooth paste tabs, carry your personal utensils, and travel having a canvas bag to begin with.

Furthermore, skip the plastic straws and utensils and steer clear of getting take-out unless of course it’s available in biodegradable containers. Straws may take two centuries to biodegrade, and plastic bags take 20. Don’t let a couple of minutes of convenience endanger the earth. Skip the plastic.


12. Reduce Cruises

Cruises are among the worst offenders with regards to carbon footprints and overtourism. Going for a cruise has got the same average per-person carbon footprint as flying from London to Tokyo, japan — round-trip. That’s almost 20,000 kilometers (12,500 miles)!

Because of cruises, carbon emissions in popular port metropolitan areas is really so high that lots of people really die prematurely each year.

And most importantly off, day-trippers from cruises visits are overwhelming local economies, driving up prices, forcing out locals, and creating destinations which are over-dependent on tourism.

Don’t misunderstand me: cruises are a good way to visit. But when you’re searching to reduce your ecological footprint, you’ll wish to avoid cruises whenever possible.


13. Have a Nature-Related Trip

Travel is among the best self improvement tools there’s. It opens you up to and including whole ” new world ” and widens your point of view of a lot of things — people, culture, history, food, and a whole lot.

If you wish to better understand and understand the natural world, try going using the sole reason for connecting with nature. Mind towards the Australian Outback, go diving and go swimming around barrier reefs, visit nature, camp within the Moroccan desert, stay a couple of days inside a town with little if any electricity, canoe lower the Amazon . com River, or spend a couple of nights underneath the stars inside a field near to home.

Make a move that will get you in contact with the planet in a manner that sitting aware of all of the electricity and free-flowing flowing water doesn’t. I promise that whenever you get home, you’ll possess a new perspective on why we’re actually are centered on being eco-friendly nowadays.

It doesn’t take much to determine that we’re living unsustainably and something’s reached give. A weight nature adventure you can get to consider differently with regards to the atmosphere and just how important it’s for all of us to deal with rid of it.


Driving a far more eco-friendly and eco-friendly strategy is something we ought to all desire to. As travelers, it’s our obligation to make certain that, basically we explore the world, we all do so in a manner that doesn’t harm the earth or even the local neighborhoods that people visit.

Having a couple of simple changes, you are able to all become more and better sustainable travelers. You need to simply take that initial step. Action begets action, and also the more actions you are taking, the simpler another ones is going to be.

Book Your Vacation: Logistical Tips and Methods

Book Your Flight

Look for a cheap flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favorite search engines like google, simply because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know nothing has been left unturned.

Book The Resort

You are able to book your hostel with Hostelworld because they possess the largest inventory. If you wish to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com, because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels. I personally use them constantly.

Don&#8217t Forget Travel Cover

Travel cover will safeguard you from illness, injuries, thievery, and cancellations. It&#8217s comprehensive protection in situation anything goes completely wrong. Irrrve never use a trip without them, when i&#8217ve had for doing things many occasions previously. I&#8217ve used World Nomads for 10 years. My personal favorite firms that provide the best service and cost are:

  • World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for individuals 70 and also over)

Searching to find the best companies to save cash with?

Take a look at my resource page to find the best companies to make use of whenever you travel! I list all individuals I personally use — plus they&#8217ll help you save money and time too!

The publish How to be a Sustainable Traveler in 2020 made an appearance first on Nomadic Matt&#039s Travel Site.

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