11 Tips for Eco-Conscious Travel
Do you love to travel but find it difficult to be as green on your vacation as when you’re at home? Ahimsa Eco Solutions has some tips to help you plan your next eco-conscious holiday!
Reduce plastic waste
- Food and drink packaging on airplanes creates a lot of waste. Bring reusables like cloth bags, straws, cutlery, and cups on your next flight…think of how many plastic cups you could prevent from being thrown out on one flight alone!
- Learn to say “no plastic” and “no straw, please” in the local language. Use your eco-friendly reusables everywhere from fast food joints to night markets, cafés and smoothie bars. Do you need some reusables for your upcoming trip? Check our our eco-friendly, non-toxic products or visit us at our booth (#1434) at the Green Living Show in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre March 22-24, 2019!
- One of the best things you can do is avoid plastic water bottles! Use your reusable bottle as often as you can. Some countries have potable municipal water that you can drink. If not, bring your own filtration device or look for water refill stations, which provide water that’s cleaner and way cheaper than bottled water. If you have to buy bottled water, get it in larger containers (4 L or 20 L) and fill up your water bottle before you head out to for the day.
- Instead of purchasing travel-sized products, put your at-home supplies into smaller reusable containers.
- Say no to luggage plastic-wrapping services at airports. It generates unnecessary plastic waste. To keep your luggage secure, purchase a TSA luggage lock; it’s reusable, durable, and won’t be broken by airport security.
Reduce carbon emissions
- Air travel is the most carbon-intensive mode of transportation. If it’s an option, consider taking the bus or train instead…and taking one overnight will save you the cost of a hotel stay!
- Consider offsetting your carbon emissions by donating to a tree planting organization. Admittedly, we do travel by air (although we are committed to cutting down our air travel and choose alternative modes of transportation whenever possible) but we help offset our carbon emissions by supporting Sadhana Forest, an organization doing great things for food security, helping impoverished communities, and planting over 180,000 trees to help fight desertification and climate change! You can also participate at a local tree planting event. As the saying goes: the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.
- Choose public transit, walking or biking over taxis or car rentals. It’s often a great way to see the places you are in and a great source of exercise! If using a ridesharing company, opt for a Shared ride which is cheaper and offers fewer emissions per person. If travelling to Canada or the US, consider using Lyft because they offset all their carbon. Also look for bike, e-scooter or e-bike sharing programs. We try to look for Airbnb’s that include bicycles or e-bikes with the rooms.
- Use an eco-tour operator that supports sustainable practices.
- Consider biodegradable/reef-friendly sunscreen (DIY or purchased). It’s healthier for you, coral reefs and marine life. Conventional sunscreens contain oxybenzone and other chemicals that are toxic to the oceans and to us.
- Do a local waste cleanup! Bonus points if it’s at the beach because shoreline cleanups help to keep plastic from entering our oceans, and it’s a lot easier to collect waste on land than from the water!
By Wesley Wright & Stefani Chan-Wright
Wes & Stef are co-founders of Ahimsa Eco Solutions and super passionate about protecting our planet! We started Ahimsa Eco as a way to provide solutions to the environmental issues facing us globally. We do this by offering eco-consulting to help businesses meet their environmental goals, and seek to empower people through blog posts and workshops; and by offering eco-friendly resuable products made from biodegradable, upcycled, reclaimed, and recyclable materials.