Traveling with Sustainability in Mind

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As the world opens up to us once again, how thrilling it is to plan a trip and daydream and countdown until the departure date. But, after all this time at home, have we forgotten how to pack? Have we forgotten how to have a good time? Absolutely not! And, with the awakening in us all over the last year and a half, let’s focus on traveling more sustainably than we ever have. You may think this is impossible! After all – the planes, trains, and automobiles that get us to our destination use fuel; they serve us single-use snacks and food ware in flight. But, with that knowledge in mind, there are simple things that you can do as a vacationer to make your overall impact much smaller while you travel than in years past. Let’s take a look at some ways to do that. 

Bring Your Own 

That’s right, bring your own! While packing for your trip, make sure you’re bringing along your own reusable water receptacles. Stainless steel is your cleanest and healthiest bet. Not to mention, stainless is going to last longer than any of its other reusable counterparts, making it an investment that you may not have to replace for the rest of your life – unless you lose it! You should also invest in reusable flatware for yourself and your family. These types of utensils not only come in handy during travel but in day-to-day activities as well. You can confidently say “no thank you” when your take-out order asks if you need silverware, drastically reducing unnecessary waste and promoting sustainability. 

Check Your Bags

And we’re not talking about checking your luggage prior to boarding. Check what you’re packing inside your bag. Do you really need four ties for this trip and three pairs of jeans? What are the fabrication contents of your clothing? Are they ethically and sustainably made? Swapping out poly blend fabric tees for luxurious feeling men’s bamboo t-shirts is an easy way to make an impact. Not only will you feel more comfortable in the clothing because it breathes better, but it’s also better for your skin, overall health, and the health of the planet. 

Support Local 

We all know that it’s best to shop small and local in our communities when we’re at home. But, why stop where you live? While traveling, continue to support the local economies in the places you visit. Simple ways of doing this are visiting village artisan shops and purchasing their wares. Unfortunately, no matter where you travel these days, cheap trinkets that are over manufactured and made with harmful chemicals are available in abundance. Seek out the local shops and markets that are selling authentic wares made by locals. Not only are you supporting a small, family business, but you are also bringing home the love and time that the maker put into the piece. These types of souvenirs will likely be treasured for a lifetime and won’t end up in a thrift shop or thrown out, creating even further implications on the environment. 

Slow Travel 

There’s a growing movement of “slow traveling.” This means avoiding the planes and taking the trains. While you can’t prevent plane travel transcontinentally, you can avoid them once you’re on the mainland. So, if you’re flying into Barcelona, no need to take another flight to Paris mid-week; enjoy the sights of the train and the conversations you’re likely to have with other travelers along the way. Not only is this a more pleasant way to get from A to B, but it’s also better for the world, your heart, and your soul. Connecting with fellow travelers reminds us that we’re all in this together, and we all need to do our part to keep the world healthy and around for many generations moving forward. 

At the end of the day, we all need to do our part to make the world a safer, more enjoyable place to inhabit. As travel lovers, we must find more ethical and sustainable ways of continuing our hobbies and lifestyles. These choices may seem daunting at first, but they’re so simple to implement, and the satisfaction of making a positive impact will always outweigh any initial minor inconveniences. Bon Voyage!