I’m talking about sustainability here, but don’t close the post just yet. I promise these 5 things are 5 very minor things where you can make a simple switch to help our planet. Easy and simple!
I get it. A lot of us don’t have the time to think about sustainability when we travel. Especially when most of the time beforehand is taken up just trying to work enough hours to get the time off or saving up the money to plan the next getaway.
But what if I told you it wasn’t that hard to travel sustainably? There are things in our everyday travels that we could easily change and it wouldn’t take more than a millisecond of your time.
Here they are. 10 things you probably don’t think about when you travel, but you should.
You book indirect flights (x)
So many of us just search for the cheapest flights, but there are great instances where the cheapest (or cheaper) flights are actually the quickest. For example, the cheapest flight from me to get from Düsseldorf, Germany to Toronto, Canada is actually departing from Amsterdam, Netherlands. So I carpool to Amsterdam and hop on a direct flight from Amsterdam to Toronto for a fraction of the cost while still saving the planet a little bit of grief.
Of course, flying can be one of the most unsustainable methods of transportation, I do understand that you have to get there somehow.
You don’t check to see if they’re green (x)
There are more and more hotels and accommodations now-a-days that are becoming green certified. That means it’s not as difficult as it once was to see if a hotel is green certified or not. There are many programs like Green Globe, Green Hotels and The International Organization for Standardization who certify hotels as sustainable businesses. However, if you don’t have the time to check in on the program hotels, and you’d rather check on the sites you know and love, I get it.
Simply click the “eco” box if they have one in the search filter or keep an eye open for hotels that offer sustainable services. I use booking.com and manage to find sustainable accommodations all the time.
You use the hotel laundry services (x)
Who cares if your clothes are dirty for an extra couple of days? Hotels typically wash customers clothes individually, so if you don’t have a full load, you’re going to be wasting a lot of water. To avoid confusion and maintain professionalism, it is a hotel standard to wash each laundry order individually (regardless of how little the load is). So just don’t do it unless you have a full load, or handwash the items on your own. You can do it!
You leave your towel on the floor & let the maids in (x)
You can use the same towel twice, don’t you do that at home? Make sure you’re hanging up your towel before leaving your booked accommodation for the day to ensure that the maids don’t give you fresh towels. Save some water and keep the towel hanging. If you don’t need someone cleaning your entire room every day, throw up the do not disturb sign to avoid overuse of chemical cleaners and energy vacuuming.
You go on tours that don’t give back to the local community (x)
It is just a matter of asking the question, “where does your money go?” It takes two seconds and is an excellent way to help travel more sustainably. If the tour you’re planning on taking does not give back to the local community, second think your decision. There are likely tons of other tour operators around the area, it takes no time at all to find a new one. By purchasing a trip from a local tour operator you are able to help promote financial prosperity in the area you’re visiting. If you can go one step further, make sure their tours are sustainable and do not include too much vehicle usage and animal interactions.
See. I told you it wouldn’t be an exhausting list of things you couldn’t easily change when you’re traveling. Of course, there are hundreds of other things you could change to travel more sustainably, but this is a good start and all 5 of these tips take little to no additional time when it comes to planning your trip.
Are there other things you notice you do wrong when you travel? Looking for some more sustainable tips? Check out a few of my other posts while you’re at it: The Best Sustainable Accommodations for Adventure, 15 Things You Wouldn’t Think to Donate, But Should, and The Most Unique Destinations for Eco Travellers.