Let’s face it: travel can take a toll on the environment. But a few thoughtful additions or substitutions to your pack can help lessen your footprint, making the planet a better place for everyone (and every creature) on it:
1. A reusable water bottle
Staying hydrated on the road is important — but there’s no need to buy plastic bottle after plastic bottle. Ideally, choose metal containers for your reusable canteen.
2. Biodegradable soaps
Staying clean is probably second only to staying hydrated! Keep harmful chemicals out of the water supply by looking for all-natural, biodegradable soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and other personal care items.
3. Reusable towelettes or quick-dry microfibre towels
Wet wipes begone. Cut up old towels or t-shirts, or buy quick-dry microfibre towels for cleanup on the go.
4. Dry bags
A broken bottle or leak can ruin a trip. Look for reusable dry bags for your toiletries; they’re washable and 100% leak-proof — and, unlike a Ziploc, they won’t end up in the landfill at the end of your travels.
5. Tote bag
If you plan to do some shopping — and even if you don’t — bring a reusable tote bag (or two), and decline those plastic shopping bags.
6. Organic bug spray
Many brands produce insect repellant made from natural ingredients such as citronella.
7. Reusable food containers
If you end up with restaurant leftovers, opt out of disposable Styrofoam or plastic containers.
8. Solar powered/windup flashlight
Save on single-use batteries by harnessing the power of the sun (or a little elbow grease).
9. Non-aerosol toiletries
Modern-day aerosol toiletries are not nearly as environmentally toxic as their early-20th century predecessors, but they still emit not-so-helpful gases. Choose solid deodorants, hair products, and other personal care items instead of the spray can.
10. Metal straws
Plastic straws are notoriously harmful to animals — particularly marine animals, who often get straws stuck in their body cavities. If you need to drink from a straw, consider toting around your own, reusable metal one.
Bonus tip: simply pack less!
The lighter your bag, the lighter your plane's load will be — and the less fuel it will burn as it brings you to your destination. So pack less! Not only will you be lugging fewer pounds from place to place, but you'll be helping the planet in the process.
At G Adventures, we're honoured to be one of the signatories of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative for our commitment to reducing our plastic footprint on tours. We've also created a special line of tours with world-renowned ethologist, Dr. Jane Goodall, that focus on protecting wildlife which includes how we affect their natural habitats. You can check out this line of responsible wildlife tours in the Jane Goodall Collection.