Every traveller understands the joy and appeal of a clean and green destination. We all choose our travel destinations with great care, and one would always prefer to visit a place that is not only hygienic and unlettered but also lush with nature’s bounty. Scientists have often observed that a major contributing factor to the condition of the environment of a place is reactionary behaviour – when a place is eco-conscious, clean and well aware of its greenery, it imparts some of this consciousness to its visitors as well who then take care to keep the place just as clean as when they found it. Likewise, an unclean environment triggers similar responses in visitors causing them to litter more than they usually would. Caring for the environment is hence a cyclical activity – it needs to begin with you.
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the fifth of June. The day is used to spread awareness about the environment and the negative impacts human actions can have on the environment. This year, a major theme that the UN is attempting to address is the use of plastics and the need to ban plastic usage and recycle existing plastic. The tourism industry consumes large quantities of plastic every year in their attempts at making travelling more convenient and comfortable. You can put a stop to this through small actions while travelling that will impact the environment to a great extent. Here are 7 travel hacks that can help you save the planet.
Reusable Water Bottles and Food cartons
Every day, billions of plastic bottles are purchased and discarded; this plastic is simply dumped in heaps and then lies there for hundreds of years because as we know, plastic is a non-biodegradable material. An individual tends to consume more plastic than necessary while travelling as we begin to purchase more water and carry to-go bags of food claiming convenience. A great way to reduce this will be by carrying reusable water bottles (preferably eco-friendly) that can be refilled as many times as one wishes along the way. You can also carry small snack boxes or pouches that can be washed and reused rather than requesting for your food to be parcelled in the plastic containers that most fast food joints use.
Unplug and go green
Travelling is an experience that is much more than simply visiting your destination. The journey is key and it is important that we enjoy it as much as possible. To ensure this, one needs to get out of their usual routines and live in the present in order to enjoy the experience. Most travel lovers like to unplug when on vacation and get off their devices. Save up on the electricity and go on a cleanse from the outside world. Battery packs, while convenient, have a negative impact on the environment. Travel green and cut yourself off from the outside world – turn off your devices, leave your laptops at home and experience life free of worries.
Use public transit
This can be followed on regular days as well. Avoid taking that unnecessary cab when you can walk the distance. Not only is this the healthier option, but can also be a great way to witness the place you are in on foot. Use public transport to the maximum extent possible –it gives you a chance to interact with the community and learn more about the place you are visiting. Further, it saves up on large amounts of fuel. Every instance of conservation helps us in the long run.
Don’t print tickets
Be it flight, rail, road or hotel tickets, most places give us the option of using E-tickets. Try and use this facility as much as possible and avoid printing them out unnecessarily. Curb the urge to cling to a hard copy of your travel tickets and documents, as in most cases, this is highly redundant and never comes of use. Additionally, try and recycle the tickets you do use. Some places, today, give you the option to return your tickets/passes so that they can be reused; make best of this facility and take that extra effort in using it if available.
Travel on land
Use rail and road transports whenever possible and avoid flying. While it does take more time, these methods consume far less fuel than one single flight journey. Reduce your carbon footprint in your travel means as well as when you’re travelling by making this small concession. Water transport is another great way to protect the environment.
Return maps or brochures once done
It is a very touristy instinct to collect as many maps and brochures as possible in the hope that an event will arise where they might be of use. Let me break it to you-you’re never going to need them. There is no information that a printed brochure can give you that a Google search cannot. Say no to these wasteful means and try and return maps and brochures whenever you do take them, once you are done using them.
Treat your hotel like a home
It is common tendency to use hotel resources lavishly and wastefully as they are free and make you feel like you’re on vacation. Avoid wasteful usage of shampoos and soaps, and try and take used products with you as they will be thrown away otherwise. Say no to that extra linen change or to fresh towels when you can simply reuse it like you would on regular days. Turn off appliances when leaving your room – even if you are not paying for the electricity, the environment is. Use resources judiciously and prolong their lives.
These hacks while seemingly small and irrelevant, can help reduce your impact on the Earth’s resources and thus reduce your carbon footprint. Unless we take initiative and begin to treat resources like our own, the blame game will never end. Play your part and watch others play theirs. Plan a wonderful vacation with your family this summer and ensure you do so in an eco-friendly, sustainable manner! Happy environment day.
Wherever it is you go, leave your stress behind but not your trash. Plan your stay with Sterling– A home far away from home.