By Tara McAndrew
March Break is around the corner, and with it many people will be heading around the world for sun, relaxation, and adventure. With the climate crisis top of mind, here are 13 actionable tips and tricks for easy eco-friendly travel just like Greta.
1. Unplug and Recharge
How can you unplug and recharge at the same time? Easy! Before leaving for your trip, make sure to unplug devices, turn off or lower the AC or heat, and turn off all lights. Then, go relax and recharge! I told you it was easy. This is also an excellent daily practice while on the road. Whenever you leave a room, make sure to turn off the lights and unplug devices that don't need further charging.
2. Choose Reusable Water Bottles
Invest in a water bottle that suits your needs. I prefer a collapsible water bottle as it's light weight, portable, and perfect for travel or everyday use. I have had my current water bottle for 2.5 years and take it everywhere with me. It thrills me to think of how many plastic water bottles escape from being tossed into a landfill, the ocean, or worse each time I fill it up. Have no fear if you're in a country where potable water isn't readily available. There are many water purification options to learn about and use. If there's one habit change you make while on the road (and at home!), this is a small one that makes a massive difference.
3. Replace Plane Pillows & Blankets with Comfy Scarves
One item to always pack, regardless of destination, is a scarf. Gentlemen, no discrimination here -we suggest you bring one too. Why would you pack a scarf when travelling to a warm location you ask? Reason numero uno is that planes are cold and scarves are lightweight, fold a million different ways, and are the perfect simple solution for warming up. Reason number two is that they are a multi-functional item. For example, scarves can be worn to protect your head, as a beach wrap, or as a fashion statement. They can also be used to protect travel documents, as a photo booth backdrop, or as a pillow or blanket, among several other options. The cherry on top is that when using a scarf as a pillow or blanket on a plane, you're reducing the use of unnecessary airline plastic waste that covers these items.
4. Bring a Collapsible Tote
Every traveller should include a collapsible tote bag in their packing list. Similar to scarves, they are lightweight, tiny, and extremely useful. Whether you're going to the beach, doing groceries, heading to a cafe, or bought too many souvenirs to fit in your suitcase, they're excellent in a pinch and perfect for every day use. Pro tip: Find a collapsible tote bag that has a small inner zippered pouch to store smaller or valuable items.
5. Rinse and Reuse those Mini Shampoos
6. Do Not Disturb this Hotel Room
7. Ditch Plane Food and Bring Local Treats
8. Goodbye Tampons & Pads, Hello Menstrual Cups!
9. Keep Calm and Carry-On
10. Buses, Bikes, and Trains, Oh My!
11. Just Keep Walking, Walking, Walking
12. Show Some Love and Buy Local
13. Practice Safe Sunscreen
About the Author
Tara is a Canadian word nerd with an affection for food, music, and travel. She is also a (self-proclaimed) chocolate connoisseur.
Tara founded the blog Travel with TMc in 2015 to keep family and friends up-to-date with life overseas. Today the website includes language tutoring and consulting services to teach Canadians how to afford to travel!
Follow Tara on Instagram: @travelwithtmc