The Girlo Green Travel Guide
Travellers in general can be very hard on the environment. From the moment we leave our homes we impact the areas we move through. Unfortunately this is not always in a positive way.
Despite the growth of ecotourism, travelling in the world is mostly very un-green. While many airlines offer the opportunity to carbon offset flights at the time of booking online, most people don’t take up the option to spend the extra $10 to do the right thing by the environment. Many of us, it seems are still not getting it. Climate change is real and the cost of all the travel experiences, newfound knowledge and friendships is paid for by the Earth.
Starting with the fuel consumed by planes and buses, to the paper documents, ticketing, plastic utensils and disposable items and general rubbish we leave behind (water bottles, personal waste etc), we need to be conscious of the real costs of our global roamings.
“Leave only footprints, take only pictures.” Wilderness saying.
In many places, particularly in some developing nations, basic infrastructure is a struggle to find, let alone advanced recycling systems. In many remote locations, ‘environmentally friendly’ is a concept that has barely been heard of, so when we visit, we are having even more than an impact on the environment than we do at home. You’ll probably even be shocked to see the extent of pollution in some countries. As many of these countries modernise, it is becoming apparent that they are having enormous difficulty dealing with the consequences of the Western lifestyle.
That is why we need to be ultra-conscious and careful to minimise the waste we create while we are out in the world:
- Become a dedicated eco-traveler and try as far as possible to make your journey carbon-neutral – recycle, re-use whatever you can and where you can’t please dispose of all things properly.
- Recycle your towels when the hotel offers this as an option and put the card out that says you don’t need your sheets washed daily in remote places where water conservation is hardcore.
- Don’t use a bunch of those disposal plastic drinking cups on the plane – keep one and reuse it for the whole journey.
- Fill up and drink out of your water bottle instead of buying soft drinks that are mostly not recycled (clean your bottle regularly).
- Investigate carbon trading before you leave and make being a green traveler part of your trip plan.
If you do these things wherever possible, you can be proud that your journey is not literally costing the Earth!
“Leave only footprints, take only pictures” Wilderness saying. Make this your personal travel mantra.
Photographer: Anthea Paul