Travel is a wonderful tool for self-development, it takes us out of our comfort zone and offers a perspective of how people live differently. Sadly, it does come with unfortunate consequences. A plane ride can emit as much greenhouse gas as a half years worth of driving! People tend to use more single-use plastics and stay in hotels that don’t try to operate efficiently. These 7 Easy ways to travel more sustainably and reduce waste while traveling are actionable and realistic steps to reduce your impact.

1. If You Get Food Or Drink In A Cafe, Get It “To Stay”

Photo of coffee in a trendy cafe - Out of the 7 Easy Ways to Reduce Waste While Traveling, this one may be the best.
If you get your food or drinks in a cafe, get it to stay.

It can be tempting to get your order to go and start exploring. However, if you stay in the cafe, eat and drink with reusable cutlery, plates, and glasses you are saving tonnes of garbage. It is a small difference by one person that scales up to large strides collectively. Out of the 7 Easy ways to travel more sustainably, this one may be the best.

If you do need to run, then consider this silicone cup from Stojo. It is leak-proof, comes with a stow-able straw, collapsible, and BPA free. It comes with me everywhere, I even use it on flights during beverage service. Imagine if everyone who flew had their own cups or everyone in general? That’s tons of plastic not ending up in the ocean…

Grey Stojo coffee foldable cup - the best foldable coffee cup

On a plane…

On a plane you can’t just wash out your cup in the bathroom sink because the water is NASTY, so you need to have a cup for water, a cup for a soft drink, and/or a cup for coffee/tea. For me, I just needed my “teacup” and my water bottle. If you see the hot beverage cups are ceramic or obviously reusable, then you can just use those.

2. Consider Bike Packing Or Sailing

sailing is a great way to reduce waste while traveling

To my adventure junkies, this one is for you! How would you like to travel the world for $3,000 per year? I met a gentleman in Singapore that introduced me to the concept of bike packing. It is where you load up your bike and ride across the world. He told me that the main expense was water, as he had to hydrate with several gallons per day. He slept in a tent, ate local food and biking was his main means of transportations.

Do you love the open seas? Want to island-hop? Sailing may be the perfect getaway for you. It is more expensive but if you have a large group, that can mitigate the costs. With a large group, you can travel more sustainably, save money on lodging, transportation, and food.

3. Stay At A Hotel That Commits To Sustainable Travel Practices.

Green lodging is a thing, and millennials are demanding that hotels operate sustainably. Check out this list of green hotels you can book with travel points! It is more expensive, but if you can afford it, it is the easiest way to travel more sustainably.

4. Don’t Just Bring Your Water Bottle…

If you are in a developing country you can’t just fill up your bottle anywhere because you will get sick if the water isn’t treated properly. Make sure you are staying at a place with a clean water dispenser or better yet a filtration system. The large plastic canisters that hold the water are recycled and reused so it is better than buying stray water bottles. If you are going to a developed country then you don’t have to worry and can fill up your water in most places. There are also water bottles with built-in filtration systems.

5. Give Up The Bottle!

Those little plastic bottles at hotels are the enemy of sustainable travel… Luckily there is an alternative that makes travel easier too!

I have been stopped at security more times than I can count for not having my liquids altogether, going over the limit, and going overweight. I had no idea that products like serums, conditioners, and moisturizers came in bar form. This brand has a variety of products for different types of skin. There are literally tons of companies that offer bars as alternatives to bottled products! Just do a search and see!

You can cut the bars to make travel sized portions, buy the amazing sample packs, or take the whole full size bar for long term traveling. Of course, you can use these bars at home too!

Reduce Reuse and Travel Ethique Face Samlper Review
Reduce Reuse and Travel Ethique Face Samper Review

6. Ladies, Consider The Cup or Leak Proof Undies

In general, pads and tampons are terrible for the environment. On top of that, when you are overseas and your supply runs out you have to use whatever the local market has. I didn’t think of this and as a result, paid for it… Then I found these leak proof undies that are a total game-changer.

7. Understand That Little Things Make A Big Difference

There is that quote, greatness is the sum of little changes over time or something like that. If everyone traveled just a little bit more responsibly, the oceans would be a lot better and local communities wouldn’t have to manage the litter and trash tourists leave behind. We hope you can try some of these 7 easy ways to travel more sustainably and that you can voyage easier knowing that you are making a difference.