Wherever we travel, whether it’s around our hometowns or abroad, remembering to keep our green heart close is vital. It’s so important we always keep our conscious values while out in the world and even make an effort to go a step further to make impactful change.
Today, we wanted to share some tips that will help you travel sustainably and make the world a bit greener with every conscious action.
Since 1970, carbon emissions have only tripled with growing populations and economies. At present, the transportation sector is responsible for approx. 20% of global emissions and is the second most polluting industry in the world, according to 2022 reports.
Notably, during the summer months, when vacationers are eager to go out and explore new places, this time of year contributes greatly to that number! And so, though we can’t control every factor, there are a few things to keep in mind while you’re out and about.
Firstly, consider visiting more local spaces to minimise traveling by plane! There’s plenty of beauty in the immediate world around us, we just have to look around. Secondly, wherever you may go, take public transportation or, if where you are is pretty walkable, consider getting where you need to go by foot or by bike.
2.Leave places greener than they were.
With growing populations and industry, pollution has only grown with it. For example, did you know around 8 to 10 million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean annually and that by 2050, plastic will likely outweigh all fish in our oceans?
With these statistics alone, it really shows just how large an impact we have on our natural environments, just from the daily waste we create. That’s why we encourage you to make the world a little greener wherever you go.
Whether you’re roaming a big city, hiking among the trees or lounging by the beach, make sure to pick up any litter you spot, better yet, make time to do so.
3.Make sure your travel essentials are nature-friendly.
In a 2021 report, it found that within that year approx. 139 million metric tonnes of single-use plastic was generated. Much of these plastics will come from little essentials you come across daily from plastic bags to shampoo bottles.
Our advice is to invest in reusable water bottles and grocery bags, moreover, using bar soaps and shampoos can minimise the amount of plastic packaging that goes out into the world too.
Moreover, always look for the environmentally friendly option! For example, choose reef-safe sunscreens, these will be sunscreens that are non-toxic, paraban-free, or organic; non-nano and mineral sunscreens are usually made from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that don’t contain nano-particles which means the particles in the sunscreen are too large to be ingested by coral and are less impactful to reefs. Finally, cream sunscreens are less likely to be washed away into the ocean and stay on the skin than spray-ons.
4.Eat local and green.
When it comes to the food industry, it creates a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions:
“Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use directly accounts for 18.4% of greenhouse gas emissions. The food system as a whole – including refrigeration, food processing, packaging, and transport – accounts for around one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Our suggestion? Eat local wherever you go and try to avoid chain restaurants and cafes. Locally owned establishments will often source from nearby farms, they may even grow their own produce, and by making this choice, you ensure there’s less need to mass produce and mass transport foods all over the world that requires mass energy use. Opting to eat less meat also helps as livestock itself produces a significant amount of greenhouse gasses itself - about 5% of global emissions.
And, by eating local, you get to better know a new place and culture!
And finally, when buying gifts (for yourself or others), do it consciously! This combines a few of the points we already made: buy local, as in sourced local; check if the materials used to create it are sustainable and doesn’t cause further harm when it goes back into the world; and learn if the item is crafted ethically and slowly.
Looking at just clothing waste, a US study found that more than 34 billion pounds of used textiles is thrown out annually - that’s an estimated 100 pounds of textile waste per person across the US population.This shows just how important it is to develop a relationship with the things you invest in, understand where they come from and where they’ll go.
So, whether its clothing or souvenirs, you should also always keep these key questions in mind:
-Is it something that you will keep for more than 5 years?
-Is it made from conscious materials that are either easily recycled or biodegradable?
We hope this encourages you to think and act consciously while out in the world. Like we said, these aren’t just tips for the summer season, but great guidelines for any time of year, whether you’re traveling, roaming around your own town, or staying in.
For more green tips, read more on our Green Journal.