How to reduce your environmental footprint when traveling

I confess I’m no expert in sustainable travel and how we can reduce our environmental footprint when traveling. But I am learning and being more conscious of the impact we have when traveling just by boarding a plane. As travelers, I think we should take this into consideration. I’ve gathered some of the things I’ve learned and am currently doing when going abroad to encourage others in this way of travel.

What is environmental footprint?

Simply put this is our damage on planet Earth produced by the way we eat, travel, and our consumers’ lifestyle in general versus the capacity of planet Earth to regenerate.

Sustainable travel: A way to reduce your environmental footprint

More than a fad I like to think sustainable travel is a conscious way of traveling where we choose to have a positive impact on the places we travel instead of negative ones. It’s being conscious that we are lucky to visit other people’s homes and we have to respect, conserve and support their culture and ecosystem.

Think about all the places where you have massive tourism, imaging living there. Won’t you like some respect and a little bit less of chaos being a local? If you have a small business, wouldn’t it be nice to have some tourists shop there instead of the big corporate one?

How to reduce your environmental footprint when traveling?

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle when traveling

This is a basic one and after living in Europe for some time I’m sure you can dispose of your resides in recycle cans when visiting European countries. If you’re not sure where to recycle ask a local.
I know for example in the Carribean this might be an issue. in cases like this, some lodges and hotels also have this service available and surely the reception area can help.

Pack your reusable bottle to reduce plastic use

While it is sometimes so basic sometimes we do forget to bring our own water bottle. Especially when traveling to places where tap water is not recommended. When traveling to this places a water bottle purificator can help you with your plastic-free goal.

If you are one who likes to pack lunches for a quick bite and keep exploring then bing your own food containers! Easy as that.

Diversify diet for a sustainable travel

So I’m not here to convert anyone to a specific diet, especially when I’m not a dietitian. But let’s be mindful of what we eat, how it got to our plates and if it has a harmful effect on the environment. The meat industry leads to deforestation, excessive use of water and greenhouse gas emissions, etc. especially in underdeveloped countries.

How to reduce your environmental footprint when traveling

Tip. Eat some veggies, dry goods, and foods that aren’t packed in plastic or cans.

Travel locally

Getting on an airplane has a great impact on the environment. Whenever you have the chance, opt for a local trip. We can find adventure in the neighboring city as well. Say hello to saving and opt for the long trip once in a while.

How to reduce your environmental footprint when traveling
Exploring the center of Puerto Rico

Shop locally

When we shop local chances are we can find unpacked products whilst supporting the small business owners.

Go on sustainable eco-friendly tours

Try to find does who support locals and promote local culture while taking care of their patrimony and environment.

Check this example of an eco-friendly tour in Cancun.

There are many ways we can support sustainable travel. It just takes a conscious mind and some research on how we can be better travelers. Let me know hat other ways do you contribute to it?!

bike tours for sustainable travel

Tip. Use a bike whenever you can and explore distant places!

Don’t forget to share it and pin it <3

How to reduce 
your environmental footprint
 when traveling

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Kate

    This is SO important! Thank you for sharing these amazing tips to help save our planet!!

    1. Mynomadtips

      Thank you! I’m still learning more about this and what actions to take for the sake of our planet.

  2. supal

    So glad you shared this because I don’t think bloggers and avid travelers are cognizant of the fact that travel is actually the most harmful thing you can do for the environment. You require so much of energy and waste to get through it all. Thank you for sharing this! It’s a solid list and I’m excited to share it!

    1. Mynomadtips

      Thank you so much! I agree, I myself am learning about the effects and how to become a better traveler. I’m sure there is so much more we can do to lessen our impact and sometimes have no clue. Hopefully, I can keep finding more info and sharing.

  3. Francesca

    I love these ideas! Reduce plastic use can be a tough one when traveling. I always bring a reusable bottle with me. I also love the idea of traveling locally.

    1. Mynomadtips

      I know reducing the use of plastic is such a toughy. It’s also hard finding places to eat where everything is not served in plastic or wrapped in it. Also, traveling locally is a good idea especially if there is public transportation available or ways to share a car, etc. I do it all the time!

  4. Michelle

    These are all such great tips and something everyone needs to consider. We try to reduce our plastic usage by carrying a refillable bottle and by only using our metal straws. I know it is minor, but it is something.

  5. I just came back from a trip and I realized how much garbage I produce when abroad compared to when I am at home. And I even pack light, eat out of grocery stores and carry my water bottles. Thank you for help raise consciousness about this issue!

  6. Erica

    Great tips! I always try to make a point to bike when I can on my travels. Thank you for sharing, we should all be more aware of our footprints!

  7. Becky

    So happy your are sharing these tips! I always try to shop at local places when I visit a new destination but I should definitely check out eco-friendly tours in the future, sounds like a great experience.

  8. Amy

    Great list! This is something I am working on and that we should all be more mindful of when traveling.

  9. Great post. And such an important topic.
    The nature of my job requires frequent trips all over Europe. And for time reasons, I have to heavily rely on aircrafts. Even though i know how bad it is to actually do a day trip like this, I can’t always avoid it. However, I am getting more and more conscious. Trying my best to minimise my waste when travelling, by carrying a water bottle, re-usable cutlery and a collapsible coffee cup. By taking the train whenever I can, rather than domestic flights or rentals cars…. but obviously I am still a long way off any carbon neutral foot print. But even if I can’t offset it completely, I think it is important that we all try our best and make changes wherever we can. Even if it is just small changes

    1. Mynomadtips

      This is why I’m changing my habits since I knew my carbon footprint is pretty huge. I’m from Puerto Rico living in Spain and my boyfriend’s family is in Italy. So we also tend to travel a lot. Recently it just hit me and now I’m looking for ways to travel more responsibly, using better transportation methods when inland, etc. I agree with you, it’s best to try and make changes where we can!

  10. Ciara

    Love all these tips! My favorite is trying to reduce plastic. I just found these reusable ziplock baggies which are perfect for packing yummy snacks while traveling.

  11. Francesca

    So great you’re sharing this! A little goes a long way!

  12. Melissa

    Great tips for sustainable travel! This is becoming more and more important and something I think all of us as travelers should incorporate into our travels. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply