When traveling, each and every one of us leaves a CO2 trail behind. Whether we travel by plane, by train, by car, by bus or by boat, we just cannot help it. Air travel itself contributes to 2,5% to total carbon emissions per year, and it is expected that this number could rise to 20% by 2050 as air travel becomes more and more popular around the world.
But let's try not to get too bummed out about that. Because as much as you cannot help leaving a carbon footprint behind you, you can do something to considerably reduce it by traveling 'green'.
With the summer holiday season approaching, we wanted to share with you some of our best tips for an eco-friendly vacation. From the way you travel to the products you pack in your suitcase, there is a lot you can do to stay environmentally friendly while traveling.
1. Choose an eco-friendly hotel
If you make efforts at home to reduce your waste and be eco-friendly, you do not want all your efforts to wash down the pipe while you are on holiday. Because being green is a lifestyle, more and more hotels and resorts in touristic destinations are offering eco-friendly accommodation. So take your time while picking your hotel and make sure it's a green one!
2. Bring your own shampoo
If there is one thing at rOcean that we deeply care about, it is the so-called 'disposable', single-use plastic bottles. Body lotion, shampoo, and soap: most hotel's personal care products are usually offered in sing-use plastic bottles. Instead of using what is provided by the hotel, bring your own in your luggage or buy it directly at your destination.
3. Bring your own snacks on the plane
Here's a tip that is as eco-friendly as it is money saving: bring your own snacks with you for the journey so that you don't have to purchase plastic wrapped ones!
4. Bring a reusable water bottle and/ or coffee mug
What goes for the single-use plastic bottles in the hotel goes for your beverages as well. When on holiday, it is very easy to buy bottled water, coffees and juices as you go, one single-use bottle at the time. But wouldn't it be better, not to mention cheaper, to bring your own reusable water bottle or coffee mug from home, or buy one of these at the airport? Fill it whenever you need and before leaving the hotel for a day of strolling around. Anything is better than 'disposable' plastic bottles.
5. Buy glass bottles (if you have to)
If you do end up purchasing water or beverages at the place of destination, ensure you buy beverages in glass bottles. Glass, unlike plastic, is biodegradable (although it does take a long time) and is not near as destructive for the environment and the oceans as plastic is.
6. Bring reusable travel utensils
Are you planning on going for a picnic or camping during your holiday? Try to bring some reusable utensils with you, such as bamboo cutlery, instead of the single-use plastic ones. Bamboo cutlery is more solid than plastic (no risk of chewing a piece of your plastic fork while devouring your salad), are eco-friendly and can be easily washed and stored in your bag after use. The same goes with stainless-steel straws for your drink!
7. Say no to the straw
Cocktails, sodas, orange juices: more often than not, the drinks you order in a bar or a restaurant comes with a plastic straw, unless you are traveling to England. If you can, try to bring your own straw, or just go straw-free. And remember: instruct the waiter not to give you a straw when you place your order because once it is in your glass, it is too late.
8. Don't purchase plastic souvenirs
A holiday would not be complete without bringing souvenirs home with you. But try to avoid the plastic souvenirs and opt for the more environmentally friendly options in wood, ceramic or even stainless steel. Chances are that these will look much nicer on display on your shelf in the living room anyway.
9. Dispose of garbage correctly
It's not because you are on holiday that you should completely forget about recycling your garbage. Ask locals about recycling centers, or consult your hotel about their waste disposal techniques and try to follow best practices in terms of your garbage.
10. Take a (quick) shower instead of a bath
To avoid temptation, you could even pick on purpose an accommodation that does not have a bath. Either way, we know that some cool refreshing water feels like heaven when it is hot outside, but try to take it as quickly as you can: showers, even though they are more environmentally friendly than baths, still tend to use a lot of clean water to function.
11. Request your linens not to be changed on a daily basis
Everybody enjoys a nice, clean and fresh bed linen, but you wouldn't change it everyday while at home, so why let it happen when you are on vacation? Ask the hotel housekeeping not to change your towels or your bed linens every day.
Traveling in a more eco-friendly way is easier done than what it may seem like. Just by following these easy tips, you can considerably reduce your carbon footprint and your plastic waste. So when planning your next holiday, remember to be eco-friendly, and travel green!