The idea of embarking on environmentally-friendly travels has become a trending goal as we become more consciously aware of sustainability. However, the practicalities of this goal, while still being able to enjoy our well-deserved vacation, are difficult to manage. Then how exactly should we travel in style and in comfort, but still minimize our carbon footprints that trek across the globe? The following is a list of ideas that outline the steps to a successful, eco friendly journey. Although not comprehensive, it aims to suggest some alternative options that travellers could try implementing into their itinerary to gradually make a collective difference.
The green destination
Selecting the destination is usually the first item on our planning list. However, we also often become unaware of wasting resources, such as indulging in a bathtub-full of hot water, during our well-pampered stay. Thus, consider travelling to destinations that advocate for environmentalism and could benefit from supportive tourists. In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, for example, a wildlife orphanage rehabilitates abandoned and injured animals that were previously in captivity, and is open to educating volunteers about nature conservation. Your volunteering visit also includes housing in cabins and nutritious meals that truly expose you to the great outdoors, while minimizing unnecessary energy consumption.
“It then becomes a habit to pack
numerous outfits tailored for
every photo and climate, as well
as discard all unfinished bottles
of hygiene products at the airport
to ensure clearing security.”
The efficient packing
Being on the road also implies the need to travel in style and in comfort. However, it then becomes a habit to pack numerous outfits tailored for every photo and climate, as well as discard all unfinished bottles of hygiene products at the airport to ensure clearing security. Therefore, try packing clothing and shoes that are both light and durable, as well as aesthetic! Conscious Clothing, started off by a couple in Rockford, Michigan, took off from a design studio that was itself built from partly salvaged materials. The manufacturing crew creates the handmade clothing using low impact dyes and ink, as well as biodegradable and organically-grown materials. For the tired feet, a Canadian company, Matt and Nat, based in Montreal, Quebec, manufactures vegan shoewear and advocates for fair trade. Each year, the company experiments with innovative designs by avoiding all leather or any other animal-based materials by resorting to recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber, and cork. In fact, even the lining of their shoes are made of 100% recycled plastic bottles! Herbivore Botanicals, a collection of 100% vegan skin care products made in a Seattle couple’s kitchen, uses natural ingredients from plant-based to food-grade cold-pressed oils. Convenient for disposal, their products are bottled in recyclable glass packaged from biodegradable materials.
The mindful tourist
Your to-do list is packed with itinerary, but remember to stay enviro-mindful during the activities that you pursue. If you like sampling local drinks, then consider visiting eco-friendly wineries. During the winter, the Yealands Family Wine in Marlborough, New Zealand, has their workers bale their vine prunings to be burned for energy in two specially installed burners. Each bale provides heat equivalent to 60 kg and their burners at full capacity produce enough energy to keep the average Kiwi household warm for three weeks. In the vineyard all year round, flocks of Babydoll sheep act as grazing lawnmowers, providing natural fertilizer for the flourishing grapes.
“By deciding to embark on
this mindful journey, we not
only set the landscape of
but also create sustainable
memories of a lifetime.”
A greener perspective
So although starting off with small, simple changes may initially feel burdensome, developing these healthy, green habits will eventually become natural. The individual actions of each traveller may also seem futile against some of the less sustainable practices of mass commercial tourism, but collectively, will bring awareness and make an impact. By deciding to embark on this mindful journey, we not only set the landscape of environmental responsibility, but also create sustainable memories of a lifetime. •