Hi, my name is Erika Rodriguez, and I started my eco-friendly journey back in 2012. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to several countries around the world. I make it a goal of mine to go overseas at least one time a year. I’ve gradually grown to be more environmentally conscious with my travels, and I’m happy to share a couple of ways to travel eco-friendly for you to adopt on your next adventure!
Before you travel
Your eco-friendly efforts can start with your packing list! I transitioned from plastic bottles last year to soap bars for my hair, face, and body. This makes it super easy for traveling as I store my bars in reusable tin containers that are TSA approved.
Another essential item that I cannot travel without is reef-safe sunscreen. Truth is most of our popular brands of sunscreen contain chemicals that are harmful to coral reefs. To help protect our underwater ecosystem, we need to be more aware of the chemicals we expose to our oceans.
I’d recommend choosing a few eco-friendly items at a time and gradually increasing your sustainability efforts. See below for my eco-friendly packing list that I’ve become accustomed to.
Eco-friendly items that are always on my packing list:
- Reusable water bottle
- Reusable coffee mug
- Shampoo bar
- Conditioner bar
- Body soap bar
- Face wash bar
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Toothpaste tabs
- A menstrual cup (If I’m expecting to be on m period)
- Tote/day bag
- Reusable notebook
* You can find all these recommended items on one of my favorite plastic-free stores, EcoRoots.
I love this online store as all the products are ethically sourced, a small percentage of each sale
is donated to Ocean Conservancy, and all their products and shipping are plastic-free. They
only use recyclable materials for packaging. Shoutout to EcoRoots!
During Your Travels
One of my favorite eco-friendly activities, when I’m in a new city, is a walking tour! You can find walking tours for free or at an affordable price. A walking tour consists of a local guide taking you to the most popular places in the city and providing local knowledge. As the name hints, you’re walking to all the landmarks, sightseeing places, etc. on foot, reducing your carbon footprint!
In addition to sightseeing and tours, I like to leave any place I visit, better than the way I found it.
From a simple beach cleanup to volunteering at a local food bank garden, I like to give back to
the local community. You can easily search for local nonprofits or community organizations
where you are traveling and see if they are offering any volunteer events or opportunities. If not,
simply grab a reusable bucket or trash bag and clean up the community!
After Your Travels
While on the plane home (or another mode of transportation), consider calculating your transportation travel carbon footprint. What do I mean by that? It’s the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the air by the modes of transportation you used during your trip. Don’t worry, there’s a simple calculator you can use. I use TerraPass, a mission-driven environmental company that funds clean energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction projects throughout the US. TerraPass offers an individual carbon calculator, where you can calculate your carbon footprint. TerraPass also offers an EcoTourist Bundle, which is equivalent to 5 average flights of 4 hours or 10,800 miles traveled by car. Using TerraPass or another carbon offset company is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint.
In this blog post, I listed 15 easy ways to travel eco-friendly, and that’s just the very start!
Please share your eco-friendly traveling ideas in the comments below. If you have any questions on this topic, please also add them to the comments, and the community will respond. We are here together to make an impact!
Erika Rodriguez is the founder of Nadi Marketing, an eco-conscious marketing agency, helping brands create a lasting impact. Outside of work, Erika enjoys paddle boarding, hiking, traveling, volunteering, and living an eco-friendly life.