Five Genius Ways To Have Sustainable Travel
Call it post-Trump trauma, but my concern for the environment has gone from above average to oh-my-word-I’m-scared within the last year. Regardless of what level you’re at, here are some easy lifestyle adjustments that you can make to help the planet feel a little better at home or abroad, without needing to go full hippie-in-a-treehouse mode.
This is the most general, but also the most important! At the end of the day, the best change you can make in leading a sustainable life is simply, to get informed. This is particularly applicable before going abroad, where the conditions and issues may be different. Nothing is a better first step than knowing the practices of the companies you buy from, and simply, being aware of the impact you are capable of. It really does start with you.
Particularly as an Australian, water usage, soil erosion and deforestation are big concerns to the region. One of the biggest factors in these issues is animal agriculture. The biggest problem being red meat. While there are some compelling arguments to go vegan or vegetarian, there’s no doubt that this can be a big lifestyle change, and it can be really difficult to commit to that kind of shift in one’s eating habits.
I’ve found, however, that simply limiting my red meat consumption is easy – particularly as a poor student! Eliminating red meat, or even limiting your consumption of animal products, already has an immediate and dramatic change in your environmental impact.
Another easy way to do this is to buy local produce! Suss out your local farmers markets and make them your number 1 shopping spot.
The insanely high turnover of the fashion industry is not only responsible for large amounts of pollution and waste, but also for a lot of the worst labour rights violations in developing countries. This is one of the easiest changes to make! Buying consigned items (or second hand) is not only cheaper, it also reduces your environmental impact whilst being guaranteed not to have fueled any abusive practices.
Try these websites:
Another really easy one! Walking wherever possible, or riding a bike, of course are simple, yet effective means to live sustainably (and healthily for that matter). Also, pretty applicable in new countries where you’re without a car (and Uber adds up). Changing your transportation habits may be one of the bigger efforts in this list – but it also has a lot of personal benefits, too. Not only do you reduce your pollutant input, you also get the health benefits of gentle exercise, while also avoiding traffic and unnecessary travel stress!
This one sounds hard, but it actually isn’t – start reducing plastic waste wherever possible. It comes down to whatever little changes work for you. Buying solid shampoo and conditioners from Lush, with no plastic packaging. Turning old plastic bottles into plant feeders. Choosing the glass jars of pasta sauce instead of the plastic ones. Going to the local market every Sunday with your own bags instead of using the plastic bags at the supermarket every second day. And also: if you do end up using plastic: RECYCLE.
What other changes can you make to live a more sustainable life? Let us know in the comments below.
Happy sustainable living!