10 super simple ways to go green on your next holiday

Green travel is not difficult and there are plenty of ways that you could be an eco-friendly traveler.


When I talk to friends about green travel, I usually hear, “I want to, but it’s too much effort” or “I want a relaxing luxury vacation, not some rustic eco-friendly hotel” or “I want to, but it works out to be more expensive.” I beg to differ. Green travel is not difficult. There are plenty of ways in which you could be an eco-friendly traveller. Let’s figure how.

Green travel tip:  Book your stay at eco-friendly hotels

You may ask why one should go green in the first place. With the greatly increased volume of travel to even remote places, hardly do we realize that we are increasingly in danger of losing many of our natural wonders. Forget the next generation, we may ourselves not be able to see some of these during out lifetimes.

For instance, the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Reef are in imminent danger of losing all their coral in a couple of decades, the Dead Sea has shrunk by a third, the Maldives islands are certainly going to sink leaving an entire nation homeless and many unfathomable disasters are in the making. Closer home, the magnificent Indian tiger is under threat of extinction and one of the biggest reasons of this shrinking of natural habitat is due to developmental activities around those areas. You can read more about these dangers here.

Greening your travel is simply a matter of a little extra planning the next couple of times you travel. It will eventually become a habit.

Here are 10 super simple ways to get you started on your way to become a green traveller

Green travel tip: Pull out the plugs of all the electrical appliances that won’t be in use while you are gone.

1. Pull everything out. Before you even start your vacation, there is a simple way to be environmentally conscious and save a few bucks. Pull out the plugs of all the electrical appliances that won’t be in use while you are gone – television, microwave oven, kettle etc. Remember that small amounts of power is used when appliances are turned off but plugged in.

2. Carry a reusable water bottle. You can fill it with water from home, a cafe, your hotel or hostel. The advantages are that it saves you money and you have a sturdy bottle for travel rather than a flimsy plastic one. In places like Europe, you can fill water from public water fountains and the kitchen tap.

3. Carry a lightweight collapsible shopping bag. This way you can refuse the disposable shopping bags that come with souvenirs and other holiday shopping. Extra tip: trust your hunch and question any item that the store shows you secretly or any potion with “miraculous” powers. These may be on a list of items forbidden to be sold or made from endangered animals.

4. Invest in a good quality travel adaptor. Find one that can be used in different regions of the globe instead of buying one in every new country and junking it at the end of the trip. Not only does it save you the pain of searching for one when you desperately need it to charge your phone or camera but it also rescues you from the frustration of grappling with a cheap quality adaptor that won’t work very well.

5. Carry a bin bag. When you set out next on your road trip, hiking or camping holiday, use a bin bag to bring back your litter. This is critical in the wilderness because even biodegradable food like fruits may be alien to that area and upset the fragile ecosystem.

6. Use public transport. This is a no-brainer. The incentive is getting to know the city you are traveling to up close rather than in a car or by taxis.

Green travel tip: Always carry a re-usable water bottle. You can fill it with water from home, a cafe, your hotel or hostel.

7. Book your stay at eco-friendly hotels. A little research on the Internet will fetch you a range of eco-friendly accommodation to suit your budget. A great way to do this is to stay in homestays, farms or plantations. And don’t worry about the quality, some of them are akin to boutique hotels. Be sure to mention to your “green” hotel that you chose them over others because of their activities to minimize environmental impact. That will encourage them to continue.

8. Ask to skip the daily change of towels and bed linen. And be responsible about the amount of water you use, especially in water scarce areas. Reuse and reduce.

9. Local is the way to go. Stay, buy and eat local. Make an effort to eat locally grown food to reduce carbon footprint. Restaurant wait staff are happy to help with recommendations if you ask nicely. After all, what’s a holiday if you are eating the same food that you eat at home? Buy regional handicrafts and support the local economy that would also add to your collection list or prove to be lovely souvenirs.

10. Avoid printing. Wherever possible, use e-tickets. If you have a smartphone, use Google Maps or a similar map application instead of buying and discarding papers maps after each trip.

Good luck. With these tips you are now on your way to becoming an eco-friendly traveller.

Did you find these green travel tips useful? Would you like to share some of your tips with us?

Pics credit: Sudha Mathew


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Once a sharp suited banker, Sudha Mathew is now an entrepreneur who creates unforgettable holidays. When she's at home, she dreams about travelling and when she's on the road, she longs for home. Addicted to chocolate and travel magazines, she writes at http://seekandhide.in/blog-home and tweets @seekandhide_in more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Once a sharp suited banker, Sudha Mathew is now an entrepreneur who creates unforgettable holidays. When she's at home, she dreams about travelling and when she's on the road, she longs for home. Addicted to chocolate and travel magazines, she writes at http://seekandhide.in/blog-home and tweets @seekandhide_in more

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