here I am sitting in the Chicago Midway Airport, just casually waiting for my flight to Toronto. And since it has been a while since I wrote my last lifestyle post, I thought I would kill time and write another one. Because I’ve been traveling these past few days, I’ve been thinking about the idea of eco-travel. Yes, there are ways to travel while preserving the environment, and no, it’s not difficult. I know some people are skeptical about it, but it truly is not that difficult. And just like every change in life, we can start by doing baby steps. So, I’ve been compiling a few ways that contribute to eco-travel, and some are specifically for women (since I, myself, am a woman). Here they are:
1. Bring your own
One of the things that we produce during our travels is waste. We eat and drink on the road, so it is most likely that we will consume and then throw away whatever trash is left over. So, why not bring our own? I’m not just talking about water bottles, but also your eating utensils and drinking straws. When I travel, I always bring my grocery bag, a one-liter water bottle, a spoon, chopsticks, and my drinking straw. By doing so, I can avoid buying plastic bags, water bottles, plastic utensils and using plastic straws.
2. Do not over-pack!
The one mistake that I did in the past was over-packing. Little did I know that the more a plane weighs, the more carbon emission it produces. What does that mean? It means that if every passenger can avoid over-packing their luggage, they can reduce the carbon emission of that plane. After learning this information, I decided to pack only the things I needed. In February 2016, I went on a two-week trip to India with just a carry-on, and in the end, it actually made my trip a lot easier. So, let’s pack wisely! (Check out my packing hacks video here!)
3. Say no to disposable make-up wipes
To all my beautiful ladies, we all know how much we want to look good in a photo, right? I find myself putting on makeup during my travels, and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. However, have we ever thought about the waste that we produce when throwing away our make up wipes? Here’s an idea: reusable make-up wipes! I bought a reusable makeup remover a few months ago and have not returned to disposable ones since. It is easy to use because you only need to use it with water! For extra waterproof eyeliner, I always use olive oil or coconut oil, which I pack in small bottles during my travels.
4. Lilly Cup Compact
Ladies, this is also for you! Stop what you are doing for a second and think about how much waste we produce through our pads and tampons. A LOT. That’s why I’m suggesting menstrual cups, especially the Lily Cup compact. I’m mentioning this particular menstrual cup because you can collapse it and bring it everywhere with you, so it’s perfect for traveling. By the way, this is also a good option even if you are not an avid traveler.
5. Eat and drink locally
When I travel, I try to cook and eat food from the local area. This would mean going to a local market or supporting small local businesses such as small restaurants and even local breweries. By consuming local food and drinking local beers and wine, you are not buying products that were flown or shipped from a different area. Ask your local hostel or hotel about this. I am sure they will be able to give you information!
So, those are some eco-friendly travel tips I have so far. I personally think these small actions can be applied to everyday life as well, and I hope that other travelers can start considering these tiny changes. After all, we want to keep exploring the world right?