Travel Green Guide

Posted by: Kim Bischof on July 5, 2018

Whether you traveling across the globe or across town, summer is a great time to plan a trip! When you’re away from home it can be difficult to maintain your favorite sustainable habits. Here are a few tricks to keep your travels waste free and green.

Traveling Essentials

Extra Reusable Drink Containers – You probably already know having a reusable bottle or mug is one of the easiest ways to avoid single use containers, but on a long trip, one might not be enough. Take an extra bottle in case their are limited opportunities to fill up and so you won’t have to choose between water and coffee. If you prefer bottled water because you trust it more than the tap water from home, you might be surprised to find that bottled water is often more likely to be contaminated than tap.

Reusable Dining Ware – Plastic silverware and straws are not recyclable and few locations offer compostable cutlery. Even if you skip the plastic silverware at home, it might be hard to do that at every stop along the road, so keep a set of silverware and a reusable straw on hand. You don’t have to buy a travel utensil set, either. Your regular kitchen silverware in a pouch will do just fine. (Bonus: They are a great conversation starter!)

Bar Soap and Shampoo – Avoid ending up with an empty bottle and no where to recycle it by switching over to soap and shampoo bars. They last longer than sample size products, take up less room than full size products, and they don’t add to your liquids if you’re flying! Plus, you have a change to support small businesses. Soap and shampoo bars are sold by many local artisans.

Quick Tips

Don’t Fear Public Transit – Consider taking a bus, train, or ship to your destination. Just like carpooling, public transit release less emissions per passenger than a car. Not only does this reduce your emissions, but you just might make some new friends. Be sure to show them your awesome reusable silverware and straw!

Buy Local – You can go to a chain restaurant anywhere, but you can only check out the local best while your there. Not only are you supporting the local economy, but family owned restaurants usually import less of their products and therefor have a smaller carbon footprint. To find the best local restaurants, avoid places right night to large tourist attractions and ask residents if they have recommendations.

Do Not Disturb – If you are staying at a hotel, hang up the “Do Not Disturb” sign whenever you leave your room. This way the staff does not have to clean it daily which cuts down on the use of harsh chemicals. If you do need your room cleaned, hang up the towel that you are still using to let the staff know they don’t need washed.

Avoid BIT Mentality – BIT or “Buy It There” is a packing technique where you buy as many supplies as possible at your destination and then throw them away when you are done. Not only does this technique cost you time and money on your tip, it’s also extremely wasteful! Bring your “stuff” with you to save money and reduce your waste footprint!