While traveling, its easy to take on negative practices in regard to natural conservation. For example, for anyone who has ever lived a jetset-lifestyle, they know that its easy to waste plastic beverage containers, forget to bring reusable bags to the market, etc. However, travel therapists often are constantly embarking on 13 week stays all over the country and the hectic lifestyle requires more planning in order to make sure your environmental footprint is more of a toe-dip than a full stomp. Wildlife and natural conservation are an ever increasing issue and as a society we have been moving forward to progressive measures.
What does it mean to “go green” while traveling?
Phrases like “ecotourism” , “green travel” and “responsible traveling” are becoming more and more popular. But, there’s got to be ways to do your part without giving up the comfortable lifestyle you are accustomed to. A lot of the healthy habits that are beneficial to our environment also are beneficial to you in ways you wouldn’t even think of. Basically, when traveling “green”…everyone wins!
Little Things You Can Do While Traveling to be Green
- Thirsty? Instead of buying disposable plastic bottled beverages buy a low-price water filter. That way you can save money on water and simply use the tap to still drink clean H2O. On the go, carry a water refillable water bottle with you. A bottle that would only run you a few bucks could help you save a surprising amount of money in the long run, too. The $14.4 billion water market is filling our landfills and emptying our pockets. Tap water costs less than a penny for a gallon and a bottle of water is about $2. Think about it.
- Reusable Shopping Bags are a great way to reduce plastic waste. Be sure to keep one with you if you plan on picking up groceries. Plastic used up natural gases in production and takes about 1,000 years in a landfill to degrade. Additionally, some stores even offer incentives to use the reusable bags. Check with the local stores in your new area about their policies and see if you maybe can get hooked up with a coupon or something! Also, cloth bags don’t tear the same way as plastic ones do. So you can carry heavier items in your bag without fearing the embarrassment of dropping items in the parking lot.
- Packing light is great for travel. Only bring the essentials. The more weight that is put on a plane or other gasoline-fueled transportation there is, the more petroleum gets used. Also, you’ll find that extra room in your suitcase gives you the freedom and luxury of more room to put in keepsakes or souvenirs from your assignment.
- Look into eco-friendly airlines. Virgin American for example are a progressive flight option. They take pride in recycling, researching bio fuel, and have the best carbon offsets. Eco-friendly air travel consumes far less fuel than many other air carriers.
- Go local. Investigate farmer’s markets, independently owned businesses or artisans. Not only will you get the organic produce, support local enterprise, and obtain healthier nutrition; but, you’ll get a chance to see some of the local culture in the place you are visiting on your travel therapy job. Get the most out of your time there anyway! There’s chain-stores everywhere, why not do the local thing and help the planet, too?
- Be cautious when you choose your dining establishments. Its super trendy these days to go to restaurants that only local, free-range, organic, fair-trade, or sustainable seafood. Dinegreen.com is an awesome website that helps find responsible eateries. Plus, the quality and service at these modern dining places.
- Walk. Come on, its good for you–keeps you in shape and saves fossil fuels by taxis, trains, etc. Try taking a nice stroll to work while on your travel therapy assignment. Also, you’ll experience so much more of the local culture this way. With walking being added to your daily routine; you may even be able to cancel that gym membership or spend less time there, too!
It Actually Can Be Easy Being Green
Although living environmentally-friendly lifestyles seems like a more expensive or time-consuming task in some regards; the benefits outweigh the negatives. When done properly, you can save money by being more responsible. Save money on water, choose affordable and fresh market organic foods instead of fast food, and spend less dough on taxis! Plus, the mental positivity that comes from doing the right thing for the environment is priceless.