Travelling on a budget and being respectful of the environment can seem a bit tricky sometimes, but it is very important to be environment friendly. If you’re not respectful of nature, you’re actually spoiling future travellers’ trips. When locals realize that travellers aren’t respectful, they just make it harder for people to travel to their country by implementing a few restrictive laws, like making cars or freedom campgrounds less available for travellers, or giving expensive fines to people for littering. Being kind to our planet will also end up saving you money, which is very important when backpacking on a budget and obviously, we only have one planet and need to take care of it!
So here are a few easy tips to travel around our beautiful Earth and take care of her:
- Use Green Waste and Recycling bins wherever you go; most establishments now have facilities to turn food waste into compost;
- Get a Kindle or use book exchange shelves from hostels. Here in Christchurch, we even have a Book Fridge for the whole city to share! Talk about community spirit 🙂
- Take a break from your screen and go for a hike. The newest TV shows will wait. Those beautiful landscapes won’t.
- Get e-tickets and electronic boarding passes. This will also save you the hassle of finding access to a printer while travelling.
- Where you can, fill up your water bottle in a tap rather than paying for it. This may not be possible in all parts of the world, however New Zealand is lucky to have some of the world’s purest water. It just tastes amazing!
- Think about making some meat/dairy-free dishes once in a while, as they use a lot of water and create heaps of waste. Did you know that it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat? And going meat-free once in a while will actually save you heaps of money 🙂
- Where you can, dry your clothes on a washing line rather than in a dryer.
- When staying in hostels, turn light switches off if you’re not using them.
- Consider travelling by bus. There are some great travel companies out there. If you’re not too sure, ask the travel desk at your hostel!
- Turn your devices off for the night. This will keep them young and healthy and save some energy!
- LADIES: Consider purchasing a menstruation cup. They are cheap and can last for years, plus they are so much easier to carry than a whole box of tampons.
- Donate and shop at second-hand stores. This will also save you a few coins J
- Cook from scratch rather than buying take-away food, which always comes with way too much packaging.
- Find an Eco-friendly soap that can be used for everything (body wash, shampoo, dishwash, laundry detergent, etc…). They take up very little space in your backpack and are much better for the environment
- Shop at Farmer’s Markets: The products you buy will be fresher, cheaper, will come with much less packaging and have been travelling a much shorter distance than their store-bought counter-part
- Only wash your clothes when you can fill up the washing machine. You can even ask some brand new travelling friends to share a load with you!
- Purchase a reusable bag and use it for all your food shopping, and if you ever forget your reusable bag and need to get a plastic one, leave it at you hostel so that they can reuse it.
So those were our favourite tips for eco-friendly travels. What’s yours? Is there any eco-friendly habit you picked on while travelling and would like to share with us?