Spring break is truly one of the best times of the year! There’s something incredibly relaxing about not having to focus on all your regular tasks and simply do nothing or go on holiday. Regardless of what you decide to do with your free time, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be eco-friendly while doing it — especially on vacation.
According to The New York Times, tourism is one of the major causes of environmental destruction. Traveling by plane, ship, or train causes harm to our planet primarily because of carbon emission and fuel usage. This is a strong contributor to climate change. However, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing we can do to protect our planet while indulging in all life’s luxuries.
1. Avoid using plastic bags
Similar to when you are at home, using plastic bags can be avoided. Instead of going for that safe Ziploc bag for your toiletries, opt for a reusable travel bag or snack bags. They are a double win since they get the job done while reducing the amount of trash you produce. Tons of companies have created perfect bags for travel, including mesh laundry bags for dirty clothes. Even if you’re souvenir shopping, bring a reusable bag to help the locals save on using plastic too and be more eco-friendly!
2. Don’t wash your towels and bedding daily
If you’re staying at a hotel (especially in developing countries that aren’t as big as the US or Canada), washing sheets can be really difficult for workers. From not having access to washing facilities to how much clean water it requires, it’s a huge waste for the locals. It’s also a big waste of energy that the local population isn’t fortunate enough to have in their own homes. Therefore, it’s best to limit your need for fresh, clean towels and bedding to half-way through the week.
3. Use bamboo products if you can
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. Moreover, it’s always accessible since it grows faster than grass. The plant has been gaining popularity for being used in common household items, and travel items are no exception. You can buy bamboo reusable water bottles, toothbrushes, utensils, travel bags, pillowcases, soaps, and so many more items. And what’s crazier, most of the time, they aren’t more expensive than regular items. Check your local drug store or online shops to see the broad variety that’s offered.
4. Bring your own reusable cup
When staying in a resort, unlimited booze is a huge perk. But the amount of plastic cups that is used daily is alarmingly harmful to the planet and marine life. By using your own Tumblers and Bubbas, you help reduce garbage astronomically. Remember, a lot of touristy communities don’t recycle so it all goes to landfills. Plus, they’re always bigger than those tiny cups so you’ll get a larger drink!
5. Buy local souvenirs
When you travel to new places, you obviously want to buy the cheesiest souvenirs you can possibly find. From group T-shirts to fridge magnets, most countries have a lot to offer. Buying ethically made gifts from small local vendors helps a lot of underprivileged communities flourish. So when you decide to shop, try to buy from small business owners in order to give back to a local community.
6. Drive to your destination if you can
Obviously depending on where you go, you can’t always drive. But if you have the ability, make a road trip out of your vacation. Moreover, once you get to your destination, you can carpool and drive around as well. Roadies are always fun, easy and less costly than plane tickets and car rentals — and they’re eco-friendly, too!
No matter where you’re heading for spring break, you can always be mindful of the environment and be eco-friendly. These simple and effective techniques are small ways to make a difference in a big way. And what’s even better is that none of them limit your fun or relaxation! So party hard and be smart!
Featured image via Pexels