WORDS: REBECCA EVERETT
FEATURE IMAGE: BOXED WATER VIA UNSPLASH
Making an effort to live a sustainable lifestyle is not easy. But when it comes to travelling, being environmentally conscious is even more difficult. Stress-packing, convenience, luggage allowance and tempting duty-free goods make it seem an impossible task. Ethical and sustainable consideration can often go out of the window during the holiday season; as you hand yourself over to a new culture with only a suitcase-full of possessions, which isn’t ideal when trying to reduce waste and make smart decisions.
But just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you should disregard the basic steps that are taken in order to be more sustainable, in fact, there’s more of a reason to put the extra effort in; in order to keep the natural landscapes, oceans and picturesque resorts waste-free.
Here are a few tips and ideas to ensure your travels are as environmentally considerate as possible:
- Reduce single plastic usage by packing a zero-waste kit
This seems like an obvious one, but plastic can often seem inescapable on holiday due to the convenience of single use products such as bottled water and the heightened appeal of icy-cold soft drinks. Try packing a zero-waste kit in your suitcase, including items such as reusable straws, napkins and cutlery. If fresh water isn’t available by tap, try purchasing an extra large container of water that you can use to refill your reusable water bottle in the hotel room. When buying soft drinks in shops or restaurants, seek out the glass bottles rather that the plastic ones. Finally, forget the cute toiletry miniatures and pre-purchase reusable bottles and containers in order to save money in the long term, and ultimately reduce your plastic usage.
2. Use water sensibly
Showers can often be taken more frequently on holiday, due to unwanted sand infiltrating our swimwear or after hopping in and out of the sea and pool countless times a day. Make an effort to have short showers and turn the taps off. Also, try to use washing machines and dishwashers only when you have a full load.
3. Buy ocean-safe sunscreen
Sunscreen is an essential for protecting our skin, but what affect does this have on the ocean? As we swim in the sea, we carry harsh chemicals such as Oxybenzone into the water, a chemical included in many suncreams. These chemicals cause serious damage to coral, as well as the precious coastal marine ecosystems. In order to prevent this, choose a natural mineral sunscreen (look for creams containing non-nano zinc dioxide) or other reef safe sunscreens that are becoming increasingly available. Also, try to wear less products before swimming by staying in the shade or avoiding going to the beach during the hottest midday sun.
4. Use local public transport and be travel-savvy
Reduce your carbon footprint by opting for public transport where possible, instead of taking a taxi. It is known that a staggering amount of our carbon footprint comes from air travel, so if possible, try reaching your destination by other means of transport such as ferries or trains. If there is no other option than to fly, you can pay voluntary carbon tax in order to do your bit for the environment.
5. Support Local Businesses
Live like a local by choosing to stay in B&B accommodation or Air B&B. Not only will you enjoy more of an authentic experience, but you will be supporting local business, in turn, growing the local economy!
6. Shop Smart for Summer Clothing
Finally, it is important to curate your summer wardrobe with clothing that you love and will last you longer than a year, collecting quality garments that suit the accessories that you own. There are also innovative sustainable brands that make swimwear from plastic bottles and other waste, turning the unsightly floating plastic we often see in the ocean that is dangerous to marine life, into beautiful swimwear. Consider purchasing unique bags, cover up’s and jewellery from local artisans whilst on your travels, as this brings money to the local economy and keeps precious craftsmanship alive! Your collection of items will hold memories that last a lifetime, making the clothing you wear interesting and unique.
We also sell a range of sustainable clothing, accessories and swimwear over on Noa Vee Shop, so make sure to have a look and support the wonderful independent brands!