While traveling, it’s easy to take on negative practices in regard to natural conservation. For example, for anyone who has ever lived a jet-set lifestyle, they know that it’s 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. With a few things to keep in mind, zero-waste travel is actually pretty easy! Below we’ll take a look at ways you can keep your waste to a minimum while on the go.
What does it mean to have “zero waste” while traveling?
Phrases like “ecotourism”, “green travel” and “zero waste travel” 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! Zero-waste travel is WAY easier than it seems. Below we’ll go over some easy zero-waste travel tips!
Little Things You Can Do While Traveling to be Green
- Thirsty? Instead of buying disposable plastic bottled beverages buy a low-price water filter. Many water bottles even have built-in filters that don’t need to be replaced very often! 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. Cutting down the plastic you use is a crucial zero-waste travel tip.
- 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 uses up natural gases in production and takes about 1,000 years in a landfill to degrade. Additionally, some stores even offer incentives to use 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 zero-waste 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 biofuel, 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 are chain-stores everywhere, why not do the local thing and help the planet, too? A lot of these places will allow you to fill up your own containers, which is great for zero-waste travel.
- Be cautious when you choose your dining establishments. It’s 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–keep 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!
Zero-Waste Travel Can Be Easy
Really! Although living environmentally-friendly lifestyles seem 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. Zero-waste travel will make you feel good, declutter your life, and of course help the environment.
What are some of the best zero-waste tips that you’ve given? Comment them below!