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We know that sustainability is a real buzzword at the moment, and it really should be as currently lots of things we use, do and consume on daily are unsustainable. David Attenborough has commented that "the essential ingredient, an essential part of human life, is a healthy planet. We are in the danger of wrecking that.” Therefore, “we need to move beyond guilt or blame and get on with the practical tasks at hand.” So, if everyone does their bit, each of these choices will then have a positive knock on the environment and the planet as a whole. Therefore, we have put together a guide to five considerable changes that are easy to make, and have the potential to make a big difference.
While this may not be anything new, it’s always good to remember your reusable flask or water bottle. There are many great ones out there, that can keep your chosen drink icy cold or warm until you get thirsty on your travels! There are normally plenty of places along the way, in cafes or at your accommodation where you can refill your bottle so you should be able to keep yourself nice and hydrated the whole time. Also, if you are bringing food out with you, be it a full on picnic or snacks to fuel your body until your next big meal, make sure to bring it in a reusable lunch box with reusable cutlery, as every little bit helps!
There are so many products around now that are much kinder to the environment in the ways that they are produced and the way that they can be disposed of, making them more eco-friendly than ever before. Some examples of these are bamboo toothbrushes, green cosmetics (such as soap or shampoo bars) using renewable raw materials, and ethically sourced, sustainable clothing, to name just a few. Many of these types of products are now readily available in local cosmetic stores as well as well-known supermarket chains. So why not swap out a few of your every day essentials before your next trip and do your bit for the environment?
Whilst you are staying in various towns and villages on your travels, you should try either buying fresh from local markets if you are self-catered and cooking for yourself or choose to eat in nearby restaurants that you know are using ingredients sourced from local suppliers, which will mean that they have not had to travel far to get to your plate. If you always try and keep this in mind, you will be feeding directly back into the local community and helping boost their economy by keeping smaller companies in business. Some may argue that it is a more expensive way to enjoy your food, but actually quite often it's the opposite as there are no import fees on the produce, so it really is a win-win for everyone!
Whether you’re traveling to your destination by plane, car or train, it’s always worth trying to pack as lightly as you can. This means no unnecessary overpacking in anticipation of any possible occasion you may encounter and instead, only bring exactly what you will need for your trip. You may wonder how much of a difference this would make. Well, the answer is quite a lot! This is because the lighter your luggage is, the lighter the vehicle or plane transporting you will be, meaning it will use less fuel to get you and your belongings to the destination and therefore reducing the effect it has on the environment via C02 emissions. This might give you something to think about next time you want to bring those extra things with you "just in case".
In an ideal world, we wouldn’t see any litter lining the streets or any of our walking or cycling trails. However, unfortunately, this just isn’t the case and often people throw food wrappers on the ground or leave their plastic water bottles and takeaway coffee cups along the way. So, if you see something, don’t just walk past it, pick it up and put it in the nearest bin. If you know carrying rubbish with you is going to be tricky, you could even consider bringing a dedicated recyclable bag with you so you don't have to get your hands dirty, and this way you can keep everything with you until you find somewhere to dispose of it. It's all about doing our bit and making sure that there’s nothing lying around that could damage the environment or the habitats of surrounding wildlife.
If you want to learn more about sustainable travels, check out these 10 ways you can travel eco-friendly.