There’s no denying the positive impact that travel can have on us but what about the impact it’s having on our earth? Will and Bear began with a sole purpose that still rings true to our current ethos; to encourage a life lived outdoors whilst doing our bit to protect and preserve those same places. You might’ve heard terms like ‘Ecotourism’ or ‘Green Travel’ and wondered what it actually means, how to do it and what lengths you must go to in order to be considered an eco-friendly traveller? We think travelling sustainably is about making simple choices that reduce or avoid a negative impact on your chosen destination and it’s population. So we’ve given our 7 best tips on how to travel sustainably so that you can travel the world a little lighter too.
1.Switch off & unplug
Besides switching off your mind from packing mayhem to holiday bliss, it’s not the only thing you should be switching off! Before you leave, take the time to do a lap of your house and switch off/unplug anything that doesn’t need to be onwhilst you’re away. Things like lamps, dishwasher & even your washing machine can be switched off and unplugged. This keeps your energy bills down (saving yourself a little cash) and helps the planet too.
2. Does it come in green?
We’re all guilty of purchasing a few new wardrobe items in prep for your next trip, but even this simple step of getting holiday ready can be eco-friendly too. Next time your pre-holiday shopping, choose brands who produce and manufacture ethically and sustainably through their practices and materials. Some of our favourite brands we swear by are Opia, Vege Threads, Ottway, and The Hemp Temple. From everyday basics to the latest trends, there’s a brand who’s doing it green!
3. Say no to plastic
If you’re planning to visit a place that only supplies clean, safe drinking water in plastic bottles yet cringe at the thought of contributing to the already plastic polluted coastlines? Don’t worry, we got you covered! We’ve recently discovered the Steri Pen; A small, compact, ultravioletlight that kills bacteria harboured in foreign water, making it ready to drink. Yep, you heard us. Now you can take your fave reusable bottles on any trip without supporting single-use plastics or getting nasty bugs!
4. Train or Plane?
With Air Transport being the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and the most climate intensive form of transport, we encourage you to take the bus or train over the plane whenever you can! Despite being a longer ride, taking the public transport option over a comfy plane ride can help make a lighter impact on our planet earth and can save you some serious dollars!
5. Support your local!
Wherever you are in the world, you can avoid supporting big chain business and manufacturers by shopping and staying local. Choosing to shop at local farmers markets, artisanal stalls, or small businesses over big corporations and food chains, creates support for the local economy to help it grow and flourish. It’s small choices that make a big impact on local communities.
6. Pack responsibly
When planning a trip to a region that lacks in proper sanitation, waste disposal, and stable ecosystems, you should think about what products you’ll be taking as it will most likely be disposed of in that same region. Things like shampoo bars, chemical free deodorant paste, natural soaps, and cream will not harm waterways and oceans (bonus points if you can find them in sustainable packaging too). Always think about leaving the place in a good state for locals and future visitors.
Word on the street is, you can still be a sustainable traveller in your sleep! By simply sending an email, making a few phone calls and asking the right questions, you can find hostels, Airbnb's or even hotels who run on environmental ethics! Here are a few simple questions you can ask to ensure a greener stay: Is the hotel owned and/or staffed by locals? What systems are in place for recycling/composting? What steps does the hotel take to reduce its energy consumption?
We hope these tips can be useful for your next adventure and we think it’s important to remember that travelling is definitely a luxury in life that we get to enjoy yet can sadly be at the cost of our earth. Being able to explore thousands of places aroundthe globe is an advantage we should respect and be grateful for. So if you decide to incorporate these tips into your travels then we are one step closer to being a conscious, eco-friendly world of travellers who help to protect and preserve all the places we play!
List of brands to help you tread lightly on your travels:
Green Key - Online lists of Green approved Hotels & Stays.
Flora & fauna - Eco-friendly beauty/everyday products
Adventurer Opti - Steri pen (water sterilizer)
The Clean Collective / Earth Bottles - Eco-friendly lifestyle products
Vege threads / Opia - Womens ethical clothing
Ottway the Label / The Hemp Temple - Unisex clothing
Salt Gypsea / Ocean Zen Bikini - Ethical surf and swimwear