Love travel and the earth? Then likely you’ve wondered how to stay green while on the road! Just remember, the three Rs are key to eco travel – reduce, reuse and recycle apply abroad just as they do at home.

Eco Travel

Being environmentally responsible can be a challenge; exhaust spewing cabs, disposable water bottles, and heaps of freshly laundered towels all seem to conspire against you! So pack these green travel tips with you:

REDUCE

Excess garbage is a serious problem in many countries. Try to minimize how much you make; bringing portable water bottles and re-usable shopping bags helps.

Many travellers buy bottled water when abroad. But, in many places the tap water is perfectly fine to drink (make sure first!). Fill your water bottle up before you go out for the day. This saves a lot of plastic in the end! Also, re-usable shopping bags take up little space and can be used as day bags and for packing too.

Use less resources, like water and electricity. Bring dark clothing so that you don’t have to do laundry as often. If you hang up your towels after using them, many hotels won’t wash them. You can also turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and have shorter showers.

Remember to turn off electricity when leaving a hotel. Make sure lights, air conditioning or heat, and electronics are turned off.

Take public transit instead of flying or driving. Gas prices are skyrocketing, making driving an expensive mode of transportation. Also, why take a costly taxi when public transit is often a feasible option? Metros are often cheap and efficient and trains provide great scenery for longer trips! 

REUSE

Need a map to navigate a new city for the day, or a brochure to find out about local attractions? Looking to read a great book on your holiday? Many hotels provide maps and brochures. Return them when you’re done so the next traveller can use them. Some hotels and many hostels have book exchanges. If they don’t, seek out other travellers to trade with.

RECYCLE

Most hotels do not provide in-room recycling. However, if you place used recyclables such as newspapers and plastic bottles beside the garbage instead of inside, hotels will be more likely to recycle them. If there is no recycling, fill out a hotel comment card to suggest it! They may just take your suggestion into consideration.

For more environmentally friendly travel tips, check out the WWF’s travel blog, or David Suzuki’s tips for reducing your carbon footprint.

Have your own eco travel tips? Share them with us and your fellow travellers in the comment box below.

Happy Travels,

Sarah

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May 23 2013