The start of a new year makes it that much
easier to set new goals, conjure up a NY resolution list, even if it only lasts
for the first few weeks – the intent is still there, and work on ways where
you’d like to make and manifest change in your life.
Whether the above sounds like you or not, and
no matter where you are on the green and conscious-living scale, finding ways
to be more green in your everyday life is now essential and not a ‘nice to try’
for us all.
Lessening our impact on the earth is high on
the 2020 agenda and I’ll start by admitting I’m very far from eco-perfect. I
fly often and need to find other creative ways to curb my carbon footprint if
I’m still wanting to inspire some serious holidays for us all as the 9 to 5.
The other thing to consider is ‘eco-tourism’ and all other measurable, positive
green efforts versus ‘greenwashing’ – an industry term for tour operators which
make trips seem more sustainable and ethical than they actually are.
The truth is that sustainable travel is all about making simple choices in order to lessen your negative impact on a given destination. Perhaps these choices seem so obviously practical and sometimes small, in comparison to the way the natural world is crying out for help, but as the old saying goes- big picture change comes from the collection of small differences that us as individuals, make on a daily basis, to form new habits and create huge cumulative impact.
1. Eco-friendly flights?
are a better option for whenever you can opt for this, as it’s in the take off
and landing where most emissions are created. If you do fly, consider the 30+
IATA (International Air Transport Association) member airlines who offer carbon offset
programs to neutralize the aircraft’s carbon emissions by investing
in carbon reduction projects.
2. Road-trip anyone?
If it’s drive-able distance-wise,
why not rather round up the friends and hold someone accountable for a decent
playlist and some ‘padkos’ and hit the open road instead of flying (and where
3. Towel Etiquette
Re-using your towels and drying them in the
sun or breeze, saves huge amounts of water for any place you’re staying at. By
hanging up your towels after each use, you’ve cracked the universal code that
you’d like to use them again. In the same vein, using a “Do Not Disturb” sign
on your hotel room door guarantees some proper R&R but also saves on
detergents and chemicals needed to clean on a daily basis.
4. Local is (most certainly) lekker
Of this we’re certain.. part of our SA mantra
to support local. NO ONE wants a mass-produced cookie-cutter souvenir (from
China), so if you’re thinking of gifts- keep it local and showcase the real
artisans of whatever country you’re visiting by buying locally made products
rather than imports.
5. Refill and reuse: for the water-wise!
Travelling with your own re-useable water bottle allows you to refill over and over again and joins the war on single-use plastic. Airports have water dispensers for clean drinking water and more and more public spaces and hotels world-over are taking note and prioritising this too. Hooray!
6. These boots were made for walking
Be a traveler and not a tourist. Do what you
can to avoid the tourist traps and be more green by walking, biking and using
public transportation to get around. No matter where you go, its bound to be
the more cost-effective option, showcases how the locals live and will also
help up your worldly street cred.
7. Local brews for the win!
This one’s for the beer lovers, drinking a
local brew is a great way to support local, understand a little more about the
associated culture but it also cuts down on beer-mileage with no need to
transport in the big brands. It’s your holiday, your tastebuds can also enjoy a
8. There’s power in numbers
Smaller groups tend to have less environmental
impact, so if you’re considering group travel- be sure to ask what size your
group is going to be and while you’ve got their attention, why not also ask how
that tour operator gives back to the community you’ll be visiting.
9. Pack (and tread) lightly
Remember that every kilo counts when flying
and adds to the total amount of carbon emissions. Pack only what you need
and be sure to add in a light, multi-purpose shopper-bag/backpack that can
house all your essentials as you explore. No need for purchasing shopping bags.
EVER. When you’re in the wild, tread lightly and stick to designated
10. Choose a carbon-offset adventure
We know not all carbon emissions can be offset
whilst travelling and that’s okay… If you’re busy scouting out holiday ideas
this 2020, why not research tours and adventures that have already calculated
the carbon emissions- reduced wherever possible and offsetting what