How to Keep Your Summer Travels Environmentally Friendly

The arrival of Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and with it, vacations. Whether you drive or fly, go near or far, chances are you have at least one trip planned during the upcoming summer months. It is very easy for your plastic consumption to add up in your packing, during your travels, and while at your destination. Despite this, it is also very easy to keep your travels mostly waste and plastic free. 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our world’s oceans each year and small efforts to conserve single use plastic waste can go a long way, especially as we encourage others to commit to the same practices. Read on to see how you can leave nothing but footprints in the sand during your summer travels.

1. Pack your own plane snacks

Not only will this save you from purchasing outrageously overpriced airport food, but it can also cut down on plastic waste. Packing fruit, nuts, or really any snack/meal of your choosing in a reusable container in your carry on prevents you from needing to purchase food from the airport that is packaged in single use plastic.

2. Bring your own reusable water bottle

Traveling, especially by air, can easily dehydrate you. Bring an empty, reusable water bottle to fill after you have gone through security. This prevents you from needing to buy water bottles in the airport and again saves you time and keeps one less plastic bottle from ending up in the ocean. Keep your reusable water bottle with you once you reach your destination. Cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants alike are usually all more than willing to fill your water bottle for you.

3. Bring your own reusable cutlery

Many cafes serve your meals with plastic forks or spoons. Instead of using the plastic cutlery the café provides, use your own reusable utensils. Reusable travel utensils are both affordable and easy to pack.

4. Ask for no straw at restaurants

When ordering your beverage, simply tell the waiter you would like your drink without a straw. Alternatively, you could also pack your own metal, reusable straw.

5. Be mindful of your transportation option once you’ve arrived

Instead of spending money on taxis or ubers, opt for public transport or even better- walking. Walking around a new area is the best way to discover it and appreciate it. Put on a comfy pair of shoes and discover the area first hand- while you avoid contributing harmful gas emissions.

Having the time to travel is one of the best parts of summer. Plan ahead and be prepared with your reusable items in order to minimize harmful effects on the environment.

Alana Bannan