Our eco-friendly living habits shouldn’t stop when we’re away from home. If you’re an avid traveler, there are easy ways you can make your next vacation more sustainable for the community you’re traveling to as well as the Earth. Next time you plan a vacation, follow this checklist to ensure you’re planning an eco-friendly trip.

1 Pack Eco-Friendly Products

Make sure to include reusable items in your bag that will allow you to abstain from using single-use plastics on your vacation. Pack a refillable drink bottle, string bags, and a container. You might also want to bring a reusable straw to further reduce the amount of waste you’ll generate.

Read next: Avoiding Disposable Bottled Water When Travelling, The Most Effective Method of Water Disinfection

2 Walk Where You Can

Whenever you can, avoid driving a car when you’re traveling. A vacation is the perfect opportunity to walk everywhere because it gives you the chance to really see the area you’re staying in. If needed, take public transportation instead of a car, or ride a bike.

3 Take Less Flights

Depending on where you’re traveling, try to take as many nonstop flights as possible, as the carbon effect is much less when there’s fewer connecting flights. Packing lighter helps too, as planes use more energy the heavier the load is! You can also offset your flights to be carbon neutral and it may even be possible to choose a single-use plastic free flight in the near future as more airlines tackle the issue of waste.

4 Support the Locals

Visit local restaurants, shops, and other businesses to put whatever money you’re spending back into the community you’ve traveled to. When you eat locally, you get to experience a new culture, eat fresh and locally sourced foods, and support sustainable tourism in so many ways.

Read next: Low Waste Holiday: Phuket, Thailand

5 Avoid Food Waste

Unfortunately, going on vacation can produce a big chunk of food waste. The best way to deal with food waste is to not create it in the first place through buying only what you need and using up what you’ve got. Make sure to support companies that don’t use buffets, which create a large amount of food waste. For example, book a cruise that offers different eateries on board instead of a wasteful buffet! You can also use your reusable container to take home leftovers to eat later.

Read next: Vacation In Vanuatu

6 Turn it Off

You wouldn’t take a shower double the time or leave your lights on at home, so don’t do it in your hotel either. Avoid using less energy by taking shorter showers, turning off the water when brushing your teeth, and turning off the lights when you leave a room.

Read next: 9 Lessons Learnt From Our Zero Waste Family Holiday

7 Choose Green Accommodation

Do your research and choose to stay in places actively delivering environmental and socio-economic benefits for local communities. Many hotels are suggesting to their guests to reuse their towels to save water, so take part in that kind act for the planet. If you’re on a trip for a few days, there’s no reason not to reuse your towels and sheets each day. It’s not like you’re washing your sheets and towels every day at home! We’re even seeing the beginning of a shift away from tiny toiletries at some hotels.

8 Do Not Disturb

When you’re traveling to new places, you of course want to admire the beautiful terrain around you. Remember that you can do that by staying within marked trails and by using only your eyes. Don’t venture off to where you could disturb wildlife, and don’t take anything from the nature around you.

9 Travel with Smaller Groups

If you’re going on a tour during your travels, ask about the size of the tour group before booking. Smaller tour groups are more environmentally friendly. As a bonus, you also might make great friendships with the people in your group!

An eco-friendly vacation is good for you and for the planet, so consider how you can make your next trip more sustainable! Use this checklist and the related links as a guideline to remind you how to keep your travel green for the planet. The more eco-friendly choices you make, the bigger the impact you’ll have on the Earth.

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