Share This Article
At its most basic, traveling is an about marvelling at the world’s beauty – whether it’s the natural beauty of a scenic landscape or the man-made beauty of a bustling city. Therefore, it should be the responsibility – no, the pleasure – of a traveler to ensure that this natural beauty remains preserved and protected.
The eco-travel boom has made several significant in-roads toward a more environmentally friendly tourist ecosystem, but there’s still a long road to travel (pardon the pun). Beyond well-meaning (if ineffectual) solutions like carbon offsets, travelers can prioritize sustainability in the way they pack, how they stay hydrated, and how they get around.
Here are three tips for a more sustainable trip in 2023.
Whenever Possible, Go “Flight Light”
No one’s saying you have to travel in your immediate vicinity. Nor are they advocating for taking a weeks-long transatlantic sea voyage to avoid flying. But whenever possible, try to make your next vacation “flight light.”
For some, flight-light travel means forgoing air travel altogether, and instead seeing the other side of the continent via trains and eco-friendly vehicles. For others, flight-light travel might involve one major flight (say, New York to Amsterdam), followed by train rides around the various points of disembarkation. Essentially, it aims to cut down on those small, largely unnecessary flights that tourists take out of convenience. And it can have a sizeable impact on the carbon footprint of a trip.
Pack Merino Wool Travel Clothing
Traditional travel clothing made from cotton and polyester puts undue strain on the environment. Cotton requires massive reserves of water for growth, and polyester takes eons to biodegrade back into the environment. Both fabrics end up clogging landfills. Moreover, these garments need regular washing to stay clean, which puts further strain on waterways.
Merino wool addresses each of these issues and more. A quality superfine wool collection is sustainably sourced, renewable and biodegradable after its long usable life. Merino wool is versatile (it’s both insulating and breathable), so you only need a couple of garments for a trip, as opposed to several. And merino wool is antimicrobial, staying fresh and odorless for long periods. Some travelers wear their merino wool clothing for weeks between washes without noticeable odor, saving water and detergent pollutants along the way.
Pack Multi-Use Utensils and Bottles
How many plastic utensils, plastic water bottles and single-use straws end up in the landfill because of the tourist industry? The answer is too many.
It’s easy to reach for convenient, disposable solutions when we’re on the road. At our worst, we tend to assume that, because we aren’t at home, it’s someone else’s problem. But these single-use items have a cumulative impact that can span the globe. Instead of relying on disposables, pack a bamboo travel cutlery set, a collapsible travel water bottle and metal straw. These multi-use items take up little real estate in your luggage, but can have big impacts on the local and global environments.
These three simple changes can make you a more sustainable traveler in 2023. And they might even save you money in the long run.