Travelling means to explore the planet earth. But sadly, a lot of beautiful places are wasted because of human pollution. In order to rebuild those places and to prevent more pollution, we can try to travel with an environmental-focused mindset. Often, this also more budget-friendly! So read our tips and tricks and make a difference!
Does a sustainable and green lifestyle have to be expensive? We don’t think so!
A ‘green’ or sustainable lifestyle also implies a better and smaller consumption pattern. A reflected consumption is cheaper on a long-term period because you reuse and you recycle.
What to bring with you
A good organisation is the base of every successful trip. Here is a list of things which will help you to buy and waste less:
You should always travel with a water bottle you can fill up. This way, you won’t have to purchase water in plastic bottles
You can find great water bottles made out of stainless steel or glass – as you prefer!
Made out of bamboo or stainless steel, the reusable straw will let you enjoy your cocktails or fresh coconuts in the most ecologic way. Click here to see some examples.
A cloth bag won’t take a lot of place in your suitcase, but you will be more than happy to have brought it with you!
Use it for all kinds of shopping. You can see the pattern: Again, less plastic is used and you can bypass the costs of buying a bag at every shop.
You’ll also always have the possibility to take back trash from the places you visited during the day
Lunch Box / Silicone Food Bags
In order to make sandwiches for the journey and being able to prepare your own food during the holiday, you can take a lunch box or a food bag made out of silicone. Once empty, they don’t take much place in your bag, so it’s a great option for travelling.
Preparing your own food or snacks will help you save money and packaging. The New York Mag presents some product ideas right here
In order to not buy new stuff during the trip, and not take the little plastic bottles of shampoo and shower gel (because they are really bad for the earth!!), we recommend you to get solid cosmetics.
You can use a solid shampoo bar or a soap bar for several weeks! It does cost a bit more in the beginning, but you’ll use it for such a long time, that it’s cheaper in the end. This also works with solid body lotions – have a look in shops like Lush!
Did you know that solid toothpaste also exists? See how it works in this Video!
How to move from A to B
If you are not on foot or bike, your trip will also imply CO2 emissions.
But think about the different options you have!
Travelling by car is expensive. The car itself, the insurance and the gasoline are no gift! But if this is your choice, be sure to be as many people as you can in the car!
Travelling by bus is the least expensive way. In some countries, for example, Chile, it’s even the most common way to travel. Yes, it’s true, the trip takes a lot of time, but on the other hand, you’ll have more money left in the end and you’ll see a lot more beautiful landscapes!
Travelling by train has less CO2 emissions. In Germany, the trains are only supplied with sustainable electricity! Trains are also faster and more reliable than buses but can be a bit more expensive.
A great way to travel by train and save a lot of money is the Rail Pass in Europe! With this pass, you have access to a certain amount of train journeys during a period of time you choose
Aeroplanes are the fastest way to travel. But the CO2 emissions are also the highest! That’s why it is preferable not to take the plane for short trips (which are the worst on an ecologic level) but only to use it when there is no other possibility.
But you can still improve your impact on long-distance flights. If you have your water bottle, you can refill it after the security. You can take your own meal in your lunch box or your silicone bags.
This is the information most of us ignore: On many flights, you are allowed to take food inside the plane. It only gets difficult if you use a lot of creams, but a normal sandwich should not be a problem. Just be careful when you take international flight, you better check out the import rules of your destination.
This way you can refuse to consume the plastic-loving food and drinks on an aeroplane.
Don’t forget that sometimes taking a ferry is very cheap! Taking a ferry will let you have a calm trip with incredibly beautiful views…
A free option, finally! But where is it safe, and how should you do it? In these two Facebook groups (NOMADS – a life of alternative travel / Hitchhiking Europe) you can gain some precious insights about where and how to hitchhike the right way!
To help you keeping track of your CO2 footprint you can use websites like Climatepartner, where you’ll find a calculator and several options to reduce it!
Where to stay
An adventurous way of sleeping can be Couchsurfing. A person will offer you a place to sleep for free. Be careful: As the names say, you have no guarantee to get a real bed, but at least it’s free and a great way of getting in touch with some locals!
Besides the well-known option of staying at a campground, why not try out something new, like housesitting? Take care of somebody else’s house (and often also of their pets) while they are also on vacation! Check out the websites HouseSitSearch, HouseCarers.com, HouseSitter.com or MindMyHouse.
If you still prefer to stay in a hotel, you have the possibility to turn towards Biohotels. The focus of these hotels is sustainability – but unfortunately, everything has its price. This option won’t save you money! Be sure to have a look at the carbon-neutral offer some normal hotels are offering. This way, you can be kept out of housekeeping and reduce your CO2 impact.
Where and what to eat
If you have the possibility of cooking yourself, it’s always the best option!
You’ll be able to purchase food at the local markets (which, by the way, can make a great experience and introduce you to local food!) and the supermarkets.
When it comes to drinking, there is only one rule: Refill your water bottle!
You want to know if you can visit cities for free? Of course! Check out the website FreeTour.com to see the offers of your destination! You can participate for free, but still, give a tip at the end. It’s your own choice!
A little initiative for mother earth is never in vain. For example, follow the example of “5minutebeachcleanup”: For 5 minutes, wherever you are, take some trash (in the cloth bag you brought with you of course), and show some gratitude towards the location that has accommodated you during your holiday!
Don’t forget you could inspire people watching you! Check out their Instagram Profile to get some inspiration…
Before starting my master degree of international sustainability management in Berlin and Paris, I support StuDocu as as communication and business intern in Amsterdam!
In my free time, I simply adore spending time outside, biking and strolling around the city and parks. One Love!