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Conscious Travelling: An Easy-to-Follow Guide

 With countries lifting their COVID restrictions, people are starting to travel again. If everything goes well, we might have as many international tourist arrivals in 2022 as in 2019—around 1.47 billion. Traveling remains one of the best ways to destress, no matter where you live.

Unfortunately, traveling doesn’t provide many opportunities for sustainable choices. Most trips, overseas and domestically, heavily rely on disposable products, non-renewable energy, and excessive shopping habits. 

However, traveling should not compromise the environment. We should focus on making a small, negligible ecological impact to maintain the sanctity of popular tourist destinations. Let’s leave something for the future generation.

If you wish to travel more sustainably, keep reading. We made a straightforward guide of actionable tips to help minimize the negative environmental impact of traveling.

Step 1: Choose Your Destination Wisely

Opt for purpose-driven destinations that support various environmental causes. Locations like Ecuador, Lake Tahoe, and Slovenia have prominent efforts to manage waste properly, minimize soil erosion, delay excessive urbanization, and protect the local ecosystem.

Step 2: Book Economy Flights

Choose economy flights over business class. Coach flights have seats positioned closely to each other, thus carrying more passengers per trip and saving fuel. Moreover, economy tickets cost significantly less.

Step 3: Pack Reusable Items

Always pack reusable items. Carrying a few containers and bags might seem like a hassle, but having them around eliminates the need for single-use items. Some reusable essentials for any trip include:

Reusable Cotton Rounds

Cotton pads play a crucial role in any makeup routine. You use these to apply skin toner solutions, put on makeup, and remove skincare residue. However, they’re not very eco-friendly. Manufacturing just two pounds of cotton rounds already wastes over 5,200 gallons of clean water, which could have hydrated over 10,000 people for a whole day.

While you deserve to look good, you cannot forgo zero-waste best practices. Instead of disposable cotton, opt for LastObject’s reusable cotton pads. If washed and maintained correctly, a pack of seven pads replaces more than 1,700+ disposable rounds. 

Silicone Straws

If reusable metal straws leave a weird, slimy taste on your lips, opt for Hiware’s silicone straws instead. Like plastic, silicone does not affect the way your drink tastes. These are perfect for those who have very particular or picky taste buds.

Food Containers and Cutlery

Disposable plastic and styrofoam food containers rank among the top contributors to waste mismanagement. Every day, establishments waste millions of these items. 

Bring your reusable container and cutlery set to ensure that you will not need these when you order takeout. The bento-style tray from Acupteatech is an excellent option. It features three different compartments, a 1,700 ml capacity, and leak-proof lids.

Step 4: Take the Local Public Transportation

Instead of going around in a private rental car, take public transportation. Private vehicles produce carbon emissions and consume non-renewable resources. If most of your destinations are near your hotel, opt to walk or bike around the town.

Step 5: Forgo Excessive Shopping Sprees

Fast-paced trends build excessive spending habits. Society has an unhealthy obsession with buying the latest shoes, clothes, bags, dresses, and phones. 

Unfortunately, these trends encourage manufacturers to mass-produce their products. Apart from the non-renewable resources that factories exhaust, most brands manufacture far in excess to avoid running out of stock.

Step 6: Ditch the Buffet

Buffets contribute to the planet’s growing food waste problem. U.S. reports indicate that the country wastes over 60 million tons of food per annum, 40% of which comes from buffets. Hotels often overcompensate on buffets. They would rather throw away several pounds of food daily than risk their reputation. Moreover, establishments cannot donate food waste.

With that in mind, skip the buffet. Global movements against buffets recently popularized, and millions have already sworn off eating at all-you-can-eat restaurants. It will take decades before we eliminate buffets. However, having multiple advocates around the world opt-out of buffets will speed up the progress.

Step 7: Support the Local Establishments

While urbanization entails economic growth, heavy construction hurts local ecosystems. Society has already destroyed over 80% of the planet’s forests for commercial and residential modernization. At this rate, we might not have any natural landscapes to visit in the future.

One way to help slow down excessive modernization is to support the local businesses. Give the SMBs sufficient income. That way, they won’t have to sell their spaces to greedy commercial developers that only care about turning a profit.

Enjoy More Eco-friendly, Guilt-free Trips This Year!

Don’t overcomplicate your eco-friendly trips. Traveling responsibly typically entails relying on fewer single-use items, buying what you need, and minimizing the need for non-renewable energy. Follow these guidelines by heart, and you’ll gradually become a more sustainable traveler.

Feel free to take things slow. Make a list of all your eco-friendly travel goals, then gradually incorporate them into your subsequent trips. Strive to develop new habits. Best practices like packing reusable goods, flying coaches, and spending less during your trips should eventually come naturally to you.

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