Easy Ways To Be A Greener Traveler...
Do you remember when your 3rd grade science teacher told you Earth Day was every day? I do. In fact, it hear it even louder in my head in today’s climate, literally. So as I traverse across the country, continent and earth, I cannot help but feel the guilt from my carbon footprint. But I can’t exactly stay home all the time. So what can I do? Well, it’s the combination of the little things that can truly make a change in the environment. They say we have 12 years to change our ways to fix our planet. Let’s start today. Here are 12 easy things we can all do for a better planet.
Fly Direct - Layovers aren’t ideal, so if you can avoid them for your own sanity, you’re actually saving the environment by flying direct. Airplane take offs produce the most pollution so doubling or tripling that layover isn’t doing Mother Earth any justice.
Wait for It - I appreciate Amazon. It’s changed everything but not completely for the good. Sure, it’s brought the world literally to your front door. But I ask you, do you need it right now? Does one package need to make its way across the country to your doorstep right now leaving a trail of pollution from the factory, plane or truck to delivery van? Probably not. So if you can wait until you have a large order or forgo the 2 day shipping (note: Amazon does give perks now for being patient and waiting) why not? Read more about Amazon’s impact on the environment here from Buzzfeed.
Treat Your Teeth - Swap out your plastic toothbrushes with this bamboo one - I prefer these charcoal and bamboo toothbrushes over all plastic or electric. Order here. The handles are 100% biodegradable. The nylon bristles are not, but it’s a step in the right direction. ? (Also reference “Wait for It” when ordering).
Bottle It Up: Travel with a reusable water bottle - This is perhaps the simplest and easiest way to go green. From S’well to Patagonia, everyone has a reusable water bottle eager for your usage. There is absolutely zero reason to buy a $5 bottle of water at the airport.
Just Say No to Plastic - Recently I’ve declined beverage service on planes when they serve from plastic cups. Instead, just ask them to put your drink in a paper cut. It might throw the flight attendants for a loop, but they’ll do it. (Delta created it’s recycling program in 2007 and is about to say so long farewell to plastic straws, stirrers and wrappers in all their planes and lounges).
Pack Your Toiletries - Refrain from using all those cute, little hotel toiletries and travel with your own. Plus, you never know what’s in those plastic bottles. I always travel with mini Dove soap bars you can find at Walgreens, Target or CVS. I keep these soaps at home (look mom, NO plastic).
Red Does Mean Stop - Eat more chicken! Sure, it’s OK to love the hamburger, but it’s not OK to have one every day. In fact, if you cut your red meat intake by half, you’re doing more for the world than I can ever describe. It doesn’t matter if it’s organic, grass fed, or swaddled in a nest made of roses, red meat production is damaging the world at such an alarming rate, we have to stop this now. Need motivation? Just watch any of these documentaries. Second tip: register as Gluten Free (I am) or vegetarian on your plane dining profile. Not only do they spare the red meat (I haven’t had any red meat in GF meals), but you get a piping hot and fresh meal.
Bunk Up - Do you really need your own room? Try sharing a room with your travel companions to offset your singular carbon footprint and save some money too. Want to go further - hostel it. Hostels have a wonderful reputation in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Pool It - Do you really need to be alone in your commute to and from the airport. If public transportation isn’t available, why not give Uber Pool a chance (or Lyft’s option)
Practice Sustainable Shopping - It’s 2019. We have plenty of canvas shopping totes. But what about your shoes? When shopping, look for recycled goods, companies that donate to offset carbon footprint, and biodegradable or recyclable products. If you’re in the need of new women’s or kid’s shoes, check out Rothy’s - made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. Did you know you can also recycle your shoes at any adidas store?
Donate - Find one or two organizations you love and go hard. Donate. Promote. Share. Socialize. Conservation.org is a great place to start (and calculate your carbon footprint).
Follow - Following causes for good on Instagram might be the easiest thing to do. When you follow them, you open your day and mind to causes that matter. Recently, I’ve become deeply obsessed with reducing my plastic reliance. Thus, try some of these amazing handles out to better your life and the planet: @plasticpollutes @ericaethrifts @plastictides @maxlamanna @natgeo @paulnicklen @lifewithoutplastic
Good luck. The world is watching. Now, what are your favorite tips?