How To Tackle Climate Change Through Travel – 5 Ways To Be Sustainable While Travelling

When travelling it’s rare that we think about positively impacting the environment and acting ethically and sustainably. Travel and sustainability just isnt a happy marriage because of how much damage travelling can do to the environment. But the fact is that climate change and global warming is accelerating to the point of no return.

The travel and tourism industry have been heavily criticised for being responsible for this. Airport expansions, more and more people travelling than ever and hostels and hotels using more electricity and water to support these travellers. It is contributing in many ways. The need to consciously change our travel habits and the way we go about exploring the world is increasing.

Fortunately for us lot there’s many ways, both small and big, in which we can do this. And before anyone asks – no it doesn’t involve cancelling travel plans don’t worry :p Let’s talk about 5 of them!

5 Ways To Be Sustainable While Travelling

Image Credit: Resplash

1. Reuse own essentials

Getting the most our of the same set of essentials rather than buying more and more is one way of travelling sustainably.

Pack your own towel/other bathroom essentials from home instead of using the accommodation’s bathroom stuff. Reuse plastic bags for liquids and gels or any shopping you may do when on a trip. This means less plastic is purchased by yourself and less plastic is polluting the seas and rivers. The very mesmerising seas and rivers of the Earth that we look at on social media and be in awe of.

If doing laundry at accommodation then choose eco wash or the most energy efficient option available. Once washed dry the clothes outdoors rather than using dryer.

All in all you’re saving money as well as the accommodation you’re staying in. Less electricity, water and therefore energy is being used to do the same everyday tasks.

Image Credit: Resplash

Image Credit: Resplash

Image Credit: Resplash

2. Dine at more vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurants

Where you eat and what you eat on your travels can be an important factor in being sustainable and green.

So you’re a foodie and want to know how your diet and nutrition can help the planet? Opt for more organic and vegan/vegetarian friendly meals over processed food. Your meat-free options will be preserving animals in the wild which contribute to the planet’s ecosystem. For example therefore or

To the meat lovers, I’m not saying cut out meat/poultry/beef entirely. Otherwise eating won’t be an enjoyable experience for you no more should you make a drastic change. but just to consume less than previous and more of the alternativs. For instance eat meat only 2 or 3 times a week rather than everyday. Consider having meat free burgers and sausages instead of beef and pork variants. Some even taste just like meat so you won’t sense much difference.

Consuming less meat and animal fats is not only protecting the animals and our planet’s biodiversity but research says it has its health benefits also.

Image Credit: Pexels

Image Credit: Pexels

3. Take Alternative Transport

Planes are among the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions in the world. Despite seeing all the wonders of the world and having spontaneous experiences, our frequent flights are doing damage to the planet also/

Most of these flights are either domestic or around Europe where countries are litereally next door neighbourhoods. Fortunately that works towards our favour as there are other transport we can use to travel to those same countries. You’ve got the Eurostar, Interrail, coaches and Ferries. It may take longer you longer to get to destinations but less carbon is being used up and it leaves more opportunity for adventure!

5 Ways To Be Sustainable While Travelling
Image Credit: Well + Good

4. Invest In More Local Businesses

Self-owned businesses and shops are often the heart and soul of a local community. The indie music blasting out through the doors, the fruit and veg sold on pop up stalls, the distinctive smell that you only find with a particular store. All of thaat gives the whole area its character, colour and vibe.

Most importantly the owners are average people who earn a living running these businesses. Rather than giving to corporate brands that you see on your typical high street, take the chance to put your money into the small businesses. You can dine at an independent restaurant instead of going luxury or mainstream. Shop for 2nd-hand clothing and accessories at vintage/charity shops. You’ll find some clothes or shoes that are still of great quality and won’t be going in the waste. Stay in Airbnbs and not just hotels all the time.

That way we’re experiencing more of a country’s culture beyond the touristy activities and also keeping the authenticity. Also we allow small businesses to thrive and not contributing to the gentrification of the local areas in countries and out pricing the residents.

Image Credit: Resplash

Image Credit: Resplash

5. Donations

Money makes the world go round as they say and as harsh it sounds, financial investment by businesses, brands and organisations can provide the means to.

Even the average person can partake in this too but making small donations when purchasing flight tickets. All donations This will go into funding for research into work done to make travelling more green and decarbonising the industry. For example from next year, France will be introducing a travel tax on flight tickets purchased and reinvest it in development of other modes of transport.

Summary

One tips include doing volunteering activities within local communities like deep cleaning beaches and forests and washing and cleaning animals, taking longer and fewer trips. The latter reducing the frequency of flights taken and thus reduce carbon emissions.

Change is hard – especially when it’s at the expense of our convenience but it is needed for a better future. Shoutout to Black British Travel Meetup and BLANGUAGE for their collab event on sustainable travel giving me the idea for this. Shoutout to WTM Responsible Tourism for their talks at WTM inspiring me to kick on with this post.

There’s work to be done to be kinder to our planet and we can all do our part.

Are you a sustainable traveller? What other tips are there to help travellers be more environmentally conscious? Drop a like and share if you enjoyed reading this. Sub or click the follow button if you’re new to the blog!

I’ll be back with another post this Thursday! Stay plugged in guys xD

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

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Johnny

Johnny is a 23-year old solo traveller and travel blogger with a craving to know the world better and make the small world bigger!

17 Comments

  1. November 12, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    A very helpful post! As someone who travels alot for concerts and events, I definitely do try to ensure I’m as eco friendly as I can be (walking/public transport) and I try to bring my own toiletries but I never even thought about bringing my own towels! Look forward to reading more from you!

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 13, 2019 / 9:11 am

      That’s good to hear. We can always do something small or make small changes to contribute to the greater good. Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. November 12, 2019 / 9:32 pm

    Great tips, I love to travel but I’m quite an eco-conscious person so I need all the help I can get with this! xx

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 13, 2019 / 9:13 am

      Thanks Megan! First sign of it is being conscious about your impact – then you can start practically implementing small changes to your lifestyle

  3. November 13, 2019 / 7:57 am

    I love your post. Great ways of educating is about climate change and ways we can be part of making a difference. It starts with one individual.

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 13, 2019 / 9:12 am

      Absolutely! Education and knowing there are things we can possibly do to change things for the better are very key factors

  4. November 13, 2019 / 8:29 am

    This is a great post and I really like that you think about this aspect when it comes to travelling because I feel like a lot of people don’t and just jet-set around Europe when they could use the train – I even dare to say that a car would be more environmentally friendly to get from, say, Vienna to Berlin than flying. I’ll be sure to keep those tips in mind, especially when it comes to supporting local business!

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 13, 2019 / 9:20 am

      That is somewhat true. Sadly it’s more convenient for us to fly to our destination as opposed to drive or hop on a train. Fortunately there’s more countries in Europe now putting money into their rail/coach development and looking to introduce carbon taxes, one thing France is doing from next year

  5. L
    November 13, 2019 / 8:47 am

    You’ve laid out so many great ideas here! It makes me so sad to live at a part of Europe where, if I want to travel, I basically have no choice but the plane or a ship.

    – Laura || https://afinnontheloose.com

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 13, 2019 / 9:17 am

      Hmm you say you don’t have a choice but then again you said you either travel via plane OR ship. That’s a choice you laid out already. Maybe choose the mode of travel less carbon-heavy more often? As inconvenient the situation is for you.

      Whereabouts in Europe do you like btw?

  6. November 13, 2019 / 9:29 am

    Like with all things emission reducing, so much needs to become the “new normal”. When these things become standard practice and less impactful on people’s lives, that’s when we will start to see bug changes! These are fantastic baby steps for everyone to get in board with ♥️

  7. November 13, 2019 / 9:41 am

    That is a such a wonderful post. We can make so much difference with just few little adjustments. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  8. November 13, 2019 / 11:04 pm

    To be truthful I have never thought about eco friendly travel. But thank you for this you have just made me see some important points

    • Johnny
      Author
      November 14, 2019 / 9:00 am

      You’re welcome – and honesty and realisation is always good for any change needed.

  9. November 26, 2019 / 5:39 pm

    Really liked these ideas about giving back. Too much of what I read suggests not to travel. I’m not quite there yet but I like how accessible your ideas are!

  10. November 26, 2019 / 6:02 pm

    Great and important post Johnny! Even though travel and sustainable does not really go in the same category I always try to think as green as possible. Each time I travel I try to be gone for a longer time so I won’t fly as often. I also always try to refuse plastic and support local businesses wherever I may be. It’s especially important for us travelers to be kind to the earth!
    Amazing blogpost!
    Tuva | tuvasworld.com

  11. Emily Ann
    November 26, 2019 / 11:17 pm

    These are some great tips on how to be more eco-conscious when travelling! I think a lot of people forget about making sustainable choices when on vacation, when there are really so many simple options that you can do! I love the idea of not flying, but taking a train or some other form of transportation instead. It’ll save money and be better for the environment! And if you’re staying some place with a microwave, I would recommend also taking your leftovers back to your hotel or wherever from a restaurant to cut back on food waste. I know some people who never take their leftovers back to their hotel because they don’t want to be bothered. You’ll be saving money and saving food if you take it back with you!

    Great post and you gave some great tips on how to be sustainable when travelling! Great reminders for everyone!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

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