With the many climate changes and natural disasters, our generation is more aware than ever of the importance of caring for the planet and being more responsible and ecofriendly. Vegan food, minimalist consumption, green lifestyle and zero waste are now part of our recurring topics of discussion and our daily habits. However, we are also the generation of wanderlusts. We have access to more remote destinations more easily and we often choose jobs that allow us to stay nomadic for a few weeks or months a year. This thirst for life and discovery characterizes us, but sometimes conflicts with our environmental aspirations.
Because it is very difficult to put a stop on our passion for tourism, we give you tips to make your next trip as ecofriendly as possible! Traveling responsibly is not so complicated after all!
Traveling intelligently, it starts first at home. Here are 3 easy things to do for the planet before you go on your next trip.
1. Pack lightly
Bring the bare necessities, the heavier the suitcases, the more the plane consumes gas. Honestly, you do not go on a trip to do a fashion show (unless it’s your job). Choose comfortable clothes that are suitable for the conditions of the country you are visiting and that can be easily matched with each other. You can also use transport cubes to maximize the space in your suitcase if you need more varied clothes to face different climates on your journey.
2. Choose good durable objects
Bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones at the airport. It seems simple and obvious, but yet by leaving your home quickly to catch your flight it is easily forgotten. You can also bring reusable bags that you can use during your excursions and when you make groceries on site.
3. Put the house on pause
Another little tip that could seem obvious, but that we usually forgot (us included). Reduce the heating in the house before leaving and disconnect electronic devices that will not be used during your absence to avoid unnecessary energy costs.
During your trip
4. Mix your transportation method and travels locally
Traveling does not necessarily mean flying. If you plan to make a trip to a nearby destination, you can opt for the train or bus that are more energy efficient than the plane or car for shorter distances. In addition to not having to worry about driving during your journey, the train will allow you to admire the landscapes and you will even be able to work during the trip if you have work emergencies or want to write your idea for your next article.
Here is a short list of interesting local destinations for your responsible summer trip:
• Bruce Peninsula, Ontario (the awesome picture below)
• Banff, Alberta
• White Mountains, United States
• Vermont, United States
• Boston, United States
6. Choose direct flights
If you have to fly, try to choose the most direct flights to your destination to save time, but also to reduce your impact by using less fuel. It is certain that for many countries, it is quite difficult to find direct flights, especially from Montreal. However, when you can do it, do not hesitate. The offer of airlines, such as Interjet, is growing for this type of flight at very low prices … something to make your wallet and the planet happy.
7. Reduce your ecological footprint and save resources
If your accommodation is in a hotel, think of living there as if you were at home. This means reusing your bath towels and closing the lights, air conditioning and heating when you leave for the day. We had an excellent example of this practice during our stay at the Fairmont Château Frontenac who invites guests staying 2 days or more to decline daily housekeeping visits. In return, one tree per night is planted on behalf of the client in the heart of the Montmorency Forest!
8. Choose an ecofriendly accommodation
When you search for accommodation, look at the information offered by them. For example, if the hotel meets international energy standards such as LEED or if it uses electrical or solar panels to power their facilities. AirBnb offers several alternatives in this type of accommodation like ecological housing that we found for our honeymoon in Tulum. You can also find out more about our experience in the accommodation in our next article.
Whether in Quebec or abroad, this type of home is becoming more and more common and can bring another dimension to your travel experience. We were able to experience it during our weekend at the Vertendre, with their responsible establishment mostly powered by solar energy.
9. Consume as locally as possible
You can also have a positive impact on the environment by consuming as much local products as possible during your stay. Shop at traditional markets to encourage local merchants while eating fresh foods that didn’t crossed hundreds of kilometers in the back of a truck. Also try to eat vegetarian as much as possible if you want to be even greener. Do you want a good beer? Opt for local flavor rather than imported beer. This way, you can taste the specialty of the country and we agree that it is always more fun than to stay in our habits and take an imported beer found anywhere in your own city.
10. Explore your options
For your transportation on site, opt for walking, cycling or public transit when it is possible to do so. If you absolutely have to rent a car, do some research to see if it’s possible to use a hybrid or compact car instead of big polluting SUVs. Of course, some destinations absolutely require the rental of this type of vehicles, if you want to avoid being caught in the middle of nowhere like in Iceland or Costa Rica, where an all-terrain vehicle is essential.
11. Help the planet a little
If you have few vacations, this is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you travel, but it might be the best way to optimize your experience and get out of your comfort zone while giving some love to the planet you love to explore. From cleaning the sea floor to taking care of animals in a shelter, a small effort often makes a big difference for most organizations and communities. If you’re on the lookout for the latest trends, you can see that the new #Trashtag movement is booming right now and we’re excited to see more and more people mobilize to make a positive change for the environment.
That’s it! Are you ready to discover the world responsibly while preserving it now?