So you want to see the world? Join the club! As the ease of travel increases, more and more of us
are striking out for the territories and a little taste of adventure. Over 1.1 billion tourists travelled
abroad in 2014, and with so many people criss-crossing the globe and visiting far-flung places, it’s
becoming increasingly important to travel in an eco-friendly way as the potential negative effects
of tourism are both local and global. Happily, it’s also getting easier to be an eco-friendly traveller!
To help you make the green choice when travelling, here are Greenpop’s tips for eco-friendly
Before you leave
●Pick your destination carefully! We think South Africa is pretty neat 😉 If you visit in March, you could road-trip to Greenpop’s annual Reforest Fest in the Western Cape (planting trees to expand an ancient indigenous forest before dancing the night away under the milkwood trees), or if you’re in the mood for something a little more epic you could join us at one of our three-week Festivals of Action in Livingstone, Zambia.
Reforest Fest: http://greenpop.org/friends-fest/
Zambia Festival of Action: http://greenpop.org/events/zambia-festival-of-action/
●Ever tried couch-surfing? It’s got a lower carbon footprint than staying in a standard hotel!
Look into your options for staying at a green hotel, eco lodge or backpackers. The ‘green’
or ‘eco’ label is sometimes affixed to accommodation that is anything but, so do a little
digging. Pleasingly, many establishments – such as Cape Town’s Hotel Verde or Terra Khaya
in the Amathole mountains of the Eastern Cape – walk the green talk. Terra Khaya is
particularly special: they practice sustainable living and accommodation 100% off-grid. In
fact, we love the place so much that we co-host a reforestation festival there every
Hogsback Festival of Trees (at Terra Khaya): https://www.facebook.com/events/1564689677175658/
●Flying somewhere? Did you know that a significant percentage of an aeroplane’s carbon emissions come from take-off and landing? You can cut down on your own share of your flight’s emissions by booking a non-stop flight (although those can often be more expensive). It should be no surprise that virtually all airlines now offer the option of offsetting the carbon from your air travel with a small extra cost added to your ticket (usually as on option on the booking page if you’re booking your ticket online. And if you’re not booking your tickets online … 1996 called, and they want their inconvenience back). That sounds like a great option, but please do take the time to find out where and how your carbon will be ‘offset’. Do some digging online. Indeed, the internet is your friend when it comes to greening your travel plans.
●Travel light! You’ll use less fuel (every kilo counts, especially when flying, and every bit
helps!). Also, pack smart. Remember to take your rechargeable batteries – and opt for
nickel metal hydride batteries if you can. Even better, get a solar charger! There are
eco-friendly, biodegradable options for most toiletries (especially important if you’re
staying somewhere that re-uses grey water from kitchens and bathrooms), and a sturdy,
reusable water bottle is an absolute must for any travelling treevolutionaries. And though
some destinations might not have potable tap water, water filters are cheap (and getting
cheaper), easy to find and better for the environment.
And the reward for all of this effort? Green, responsible, ethical travel comes with BIG bonuses. It
is more rewarding, more authentic, better for the planet, and helps you make deeper and more
meaningful connections with the people you meet and the places you visit.
Plant a tree with Greenpop!
If you want to hear more from Green Pop on how to travel Eco Friendly when you get to your destination, make sure you comment below!