Tips on Keeping Your Footprint Green and Sustainable

Sustainable travel begins with you!

Can You Travel Full Time Without Hurting the Planet?
Yes, Here’s How to make it Sustainable!

By Oscar Davis

Whether it's by classic car or horse and buggy, travel is slow throughout Cuba.
Whether it’s by classic car or horse and buggy, travel is slow throughout Cuba.

For those with a bit of wanderlust, it’s easy to forget the impact our travel has on the environment. However, with the

right habits, it’s possible to feed your travel bug and still be a friend to the planet.

For those of us bitten by the urge to explore every corner of the globe, here’s a guide that doesn’t just talk about traveling full-time—it’s about doing so responsibly, to preserve the beauty we so love to see. 

Embrace Slow Travel

Slow travel is an idea that is gaining momentum for all the right reasons. It’s about immersing yourself in the local culture, spending more time in fewer places, and getting to know a destination.

Instead of hopping on a plane every few days, consider overland travel options like buses and trains, or even better, getting around by bike or on foot.

This not only reduces your carbon footprint but also enriches your travel experience. By staying longer in one place, you contribute more to the local economy and have a lesser environmental impact compared to traditional tourist whirlwind tours.

Opt for Sustainable Accommodations

Sustainable accommodations are becoming more popular and accessible. These places focus on minimizing waste, using renewable energy, and supporting local communities. They range from eco-lodges that blend into their surroundings to city hotels that operate on green principles. 

When booking your stay, look for certifications or eco-labels that indicate a genuine commitment to sustainability. And while discussing making eco-friendly choices, let’s not forget about our wardrobe. Packing light and choosing eco-friendly clothing can make a significant difference. They are also easier to clean when you stay in hotels and other lodging places.

Prioritize Overland Travel

One of the most impactful decisions a traveler can make is to choose overland travel over air travel whenever possible. Air travel is one of the largest individual sources of carbon emissions, but fortunately, it’s one we can control. By opting for buses, trains, or even car-sharing, you not only cut down on emissions but also get to enjoy the scenery and local life in a way that flying just doesn’t offer. 

This approach encourages travelers to gain a deeper connection with the places they visit, offering a richer, more memorable experience than any flight could. Plus, overland travel often leads to unexpected adventures and stories, adding a unique flavor to your journey that air travel seldom matches.

Riding an electric bike in Ojai, California.
Riding an electric bike in Ojai, California.

Electrify Your Ride

As the world shifts towards cleaner energy, travelers can lead by example by choosing electric vehicles (EVs) for their road trips and explorations. With an ever-expanding network of charging stations, hitting the road in an electric vehicle is more feasible than ever.

Not only do EVs reduce your carbon footprint to nearly zero, but they also offer a quieter, smoother ride, allowing you to enjoy the sounds and sights of nature uninterrupted. 

To make planning your eco-friendly road trip easier, you can use an app for charging stations. These apps can help you find and use the nearest charging station on your route, making it convenient to plan longer journeys without the anxiety of running out of juice. Embracing electric vehicles for your adventures is a powerful step towards sustainable travel, and with the right app for charging stations, it’s also incredibly practical.

One thing that’s changed when it comes to rental bikes, in many European countries, the bikes are electric. Nobody wants to rent a regular bike anymore, so you’ll easily find the ones with zip that will take you up any hill with ease.

Support Local Economies Sustainable 

Travel allows you to engage better with people and their communities. Supporting local economies is not only beneficial for the places you visit but also reduces the environmental impact of your travels. Opt for local markets and eateries over chain stores and restaurants. 

This reduces the carbon footprint associated with importing goods and contributes to the local economy, providing income for small business owners and artisans. Plus, engaging in community-based tourism initiatives can offer unique and authentic experiences, from traditional cooking classes to guided tours by locals.

This approach ensures that your travel dollars benefit the community directly and foster a deeper connection between travelers and the destinations they visit.

Alison displays her dissaproval at all of the plastic bottles in the water.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reducing waste starts with mindful packing—opting for reusable water bottles, straws, and shopping bags can significantly cut down on plastic waste during your travels.

Reusing materials, such as packing containers and bags, not only minimize waste but also lightens your luggage.

Recycling, although sometimes more challenging while on the road, remains a crucial component of eco-friendly travel.

Many tourist destinations offer recycling bins, and taking the extra moment to dispose of your waste properly can make a big difference. Additionally, participating in local clean-up activities or beach clean-ups can be a rewarding way to give back to the places you visit.

oscar davis


Oscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds, UK.

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