Eco friendly travel, and generally being more conscious about how we treat our planet is now more than ever at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
The Corona Virus Pandemic has given us all a kick up the butt, making us realise that we cannot take travel for granted, and we should all now be taking a good look at our travel behaviours and seeking new ways in which we can get back to travelling, without having a negative impact on this amazing planet of ours.
That being said, it is estimated there are now more face masks and plastic gloves in the ocean than jellyfish, scary thought right?! So even though we are not travelling right now, we are faced with new issues and even more waste entering our oceans than ever.
This month is Plastic Free July, a global movement helping millions of people do their bit to reduce plastic pollution, so what better time to consider, as travel lovers, what we can do to ensure our adventures impact positively on the planet.
If you’ve been lucky enough to join us already on one of our Philippines tours, you’ll know just how important eco friendly travel is to us, and if the Philippines is next on your bucket list, take note as you get ready to see first-hand how the country is doing their bit to reduce waste, with the emphasis being on reducing the use of single use plastics.
It’s time to get onboard!
Our Top 10 Eco Friendly Travel tips
- Pack light! – We’ve been here before, packing light really does pay off. The less the plane weighs, the less carbon emissions produced. Only take with you what you need and if that’s a scary thought, check out our ‘handy guide to packing light with a free packing list’ for some great packing tips!
- Use a reusable water bottle – Bringing a reusable water bottle to avoid buying 4 500ml bottles a day can make a big impact on your plastic waste. If you’re travelling with Do You Travel on one of our group or solo itineraries all of our accommodation partners provide free filtered water refills. This not only saves you money but reduces the 40 + plastic bottles that would go to landfill/possibly the ocean from a 10 day trip. Chilly’s water bottles are some of the best on the market keeping your liquid cold for 6 hours and 10% of the profit goes to cleaning up the oceans with the non-profit organisation City to Sea, win win.
- Bring a small bag – Say no to plastic shopping bags by using a reusable tote bag or even better, bring a small backpack. The only thing we want to last a lifetime is the memories from your trip not the plastic bag that blew away down the street and is now living in a tree, fast forward 400 years it’s still there by which time we’ve all probably moved to another planet!
- Go local – Going local is considered an eco friendly way to travel however it already feels so natural to us. On our Philippines trips we travel to experience the local way of life and immerse ourselves in the culture, but this can be mutually beneficial. By supporting local businesses you are putting money back into the local economy, and when your Pina Colada only has to travel as far as the coconut tree above your head, you are lowering your carbon footprint too!
- Imagine you’re living with your parents – Treat your accommodation like you would your home. Turn off air conditioning, lights, fans and TV’s when leaving. We know it’s hard to hold onto these behaviours when you’re in vacation mode, but while you’re sweating it out having a sunbathe on the beach with the aircon blaring in your hotel room, spare a thought for the polar bears melting away in the Antarctic due to global warming. We bet that’ll make you think twice next time!
- Rules are rules – Follow the rules and respect your natural surroundings. Don’t touch animals, sea creatures or even plants unless advised by a local or a guide and follow instructions given to you when travelling in a foreign country.
- Safety in numbers – Travelling in smaller groups has less of an impact on the environment. Do You Travel’s group tours operate only once a month with a max of 12 travellers. Not only does this help us to do our bit for eco-friendly travel, it ensures a solid group dynamic of like-minded travellers on all of our trips, developing life-long friendships while having the time of their lives!
- Shop around – Choose lower carbon emitting airlines! We know some parts of travel just can’t be avoided, the most damaging to the environment being flying. This is sometimes unavoidable particularly within the Philippines with its 7,000 plus islands. However, it is possible to use more eco-friendly airlines like Cebu Pacific who have recently purchased 27 more fuel efficient aeroplanes producing 37% less emissions. They have also replaced the 460,000 pieces of single use plastic used for onboard catering each month with a more eco-friendly option!
- Ditch the liquid toiletries – Swapping liquid toiletries for bars where available, not only reduces your plastic waste, it makes for lighter and less stressful travelling! With no liquid dramas at the airport, and these products lasting longer than your regular bottle of shampoo, you’ll be thanking yourself for making the switch! Lush has a fantastic range of eco / environmentally / vegan – you name it – friendly products. Consider them the saints of the cosmetics world!
- It’s just one plastic bottle said 66 million people – When visiting beaches and tourist attractions, if you see plastic waste that could ultimately end up in the ocean, pick it up. Collecting rubbish at the beach is not only a fabulous way to do your bit for the planet, but is a great way to lead by example for the local children who may not be as well educated on the impact of plastic pollution. Of course, only pick up something if it is safe to do so, a tetanus needle is never fun and can also contribute to plastic waste!
So there you have it, our top 10 tips for more eco friendly travel! We know that travel in itself isn’t the most environmentally friendly passion, but if we all do our bit, step by step, we can certainly decrease the impact travel has on our amazing planet.
If you would like to hear more about how our trips are environmentally friendly, or if you have any tips about how we can add more positive environmental impact to our trips we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us through the contact form on the website, via Instagram or Facebook!
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