Your Essential Guide To Travelling Green
As the detrimental effects of our consumer lifestyles inevitably emerge from the shadows, it doesn’t matter where you stand in the green political spectrum, the green everything wagon is becoming harder to ignore.
But the answer to being a Green Traveller is really easier than you think!
All the same rules for being “green” at home still apply when you’re travelling. It’s all about making a daily switch and choosing better choices. You might not be out to save a rainforest, but every small choice counts (both to improving the environment as well as the number of dollars in your pocket!).
So What is Green Travel?
With masses of phrases like “carbon neutral”and “greenwashing”plastered at our every turn, lets cut through the confusion and bollocks to discover what Sustainable Travel and being a Green Traveller really means.
It’s not just about planting trees to offset your fuel consumption and using solar power (although these do help). A green traveller considers the economic impacts, the social impacts, the cultural impacts and the ecological impacts that their visit will have on the towns and environments that they visit. A green traveller makes better choices that will positively impact both the people and environment around them.
Easy Ways to be a Better Green Traveller
We’ve scoured the best tips for choices you can make to be a greener traveller. Remember this is about people and the communities you visit - not just the environment.
See how many of these suggestions you already do at home, and could try doing on your next adventure away from home.
BEFORE YOU GO
Turn off your power people!
Sure you’ll want to leave your fridge and freezer running while you are away, but do your kettle, TV, washing machine and other appliances really need to be switched on eagerly awaiting your return?
TRAVELLING GREEN ON THE ROAD
Let’s face it. 90% of you reading this blog probably have total fuel guzzler cars (me included), with enough grunt so you can carry all the fun heavy stuff you like to have to play with while you’re away on vacation and living an adventurous life.
If you felt really bad you’d seriously look into bio-fuels.
If you feel a little bad you’d look into offsetting your carbon footprint (yes from all that fuel we use) by doing something trendy like paying some company to plant trees for you.
If you don’t even really care, there are still little changes you can make that will not only help the environment; they’re common sense that’ll save you money.
Lighten your load
The less weight you carry the less fuel you will consume.
Keep your tires properly inflated.
Slowly accelerate and decelerate.
Avoid travelling during traffic.
Usually this isn’t a choice, it just happens. But idling chews up more fuel so turn your car off when stuck in traffic.
Carpool with friends
You may need four 4WDs with one driver each to get all the things you simply cannot live without to your holiday spot. But there’s no reason why you can’t all car pool into one vehicle for day trips.
GREEN CHOICE ACCOMMODATION
Whether you’re camping, in your own RV, or renting a room somewhere; basically everything you do at home to keep your home green you should do in your caravan or other accommodation.
Choose accommodation providers who are ecologically minded and contribute to local community development.
Both water and on around your windows, doors and fridge!
Don’t go overboard just because “you’ve paid for it”.
Just because you've paid a caravan park one night’s fee to use as much power as possible, doesn’t mean you should. Charge up what you need but don’t be an energy glutton.
If staying in a hotel, don’t leave the A/C running all day while you’re not there.
Use solar panels.
When camping and dependent on alternative power choose solar panels over a generator when possible.
Change your lightbulbs.
Try more energy efficient LEDs, CFLs or halogens.
Save your washing till you have a full load and line dry wherever possible.
Use multipurpose, reusable and non-toxic items where possible.
If there’s no recycling where your staying take it with you to the next place or find a local deposit if possible.
ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
Try to focus on attractions and activities that are environmentally responsible and provide opportunities for local communities.
Choose to download electronic versions of maps, guidebooks etc where possible.
Take photos of interesting articles and pamphlets rather than ripping pages out to reduce weight and paper consumption.
Do bus tours in popular locations rather than heading out on your own.
Bike ride or walk around a new town rather than doing a drive by.
Respect farming quarantine laws.
Shop and eat local.
Never leave rubbish in natural places.
Even if it’s not yours, if you see rubbish do the right thing and pick it up and bin it.
Respect “No Entry” signs for rejuvenation or by locals when visiting natural sites.
Make donations to organisations that care for and maintain the places you are visiting.
Opt for leisure activities that use natural energies.
Relax your pace and try kayaking rather than a jet ski, or a sail boat rather than a speed boat.
Volunteering while travelling.
Yes, Now It’s Your Turn!
If you’ve got any great “green”travel tips we’d love to hear them! Please share a comment below.
For further information on sustainable travel check out: