This is, perhaps, one of the first steps that you, as a traveller, can take. When I write ‘Go Local’, I am referring to quite a number of things. Things that can be as simple as staying at a homestay rather than a posh hotel.
The sad part is that even such easy to follow steps are not known to a majority of travellers out there. Thus, ixigo has come up with a quick list that includes tips that are easy to follow and easily implementable. Choose to travel green and you’ll be amazed at how contented it makes you.
Use rechargeable batteries.
Discarded batteries make for a major environmental nuisance, for they release toxic chemicals into the environment. Disposing these off in any way whatsoever does not help. My suggestion is that you carry rechargeable batteries and a charger. Other than the environment, you’ll end up saving money too.
Take SteriPEN in place of bottled water.
One of the most annoying and, of course, environmentally hazardous things that you would run into, while travelling, are scores of discarded water bottles. Though having bottled, filtered water is definitely a safer bet, you can purify water by yourself. Yes, I’m talking about SteriPEN, a portable UV water purifier. Priced upwards of $50, it’s a good bet for the environmentally conscious travellers.
Use public transport facilities.
While driving around in a vehicle of your own stands synonymous to freedom, it might only lead to complete chaos in the terms of environmental imbalance. While it adds to traffic and of course hazardous fumes, you’re also burning around 5x more money on fuel as compared to taking a bus/train. On my last trip, I roamed around old Shimla in the city bus, and it was fun! You can also approach a bike rental point and pedal away to fun, sans any dent to environment.
Stay in eco-friendly lodges.
With that, I do not mean you to compromise on luxury or comfort. Just to make it clearer, it’s a myth that eco-friendly staying options run low on luxury. Measures that are as simple as having solar powered geysers will help you in maintaining the ecological balance. One of the best options is to go for homestays, as it also helps in boosting the economy of the region.
Participate in volunteering programmes.
This one helps you save money as well as environment. Volunteering opportunities like in organic farms, NGO run schools, saving marine life (check www.hsi.org) and other developmental causes help you contribute towards ecological causes in addition to usually free accommodation and boarding. More than that, it becomes an experiential experience.
Say a big NO to plastic bags.
We know plastic bags are handy, yet these are so hazardous to environment that their effects last till hundreds of years. To add to the woes, these come for a very meagre amount of money and are discarded by the users on a whim or two. I suggest you to go for jute or degradable bags which are not expensive when compared to their ability to sustain use for a longer time.
Use biodegradable soaps.
You might not have noticed, but most of the hotels/other staying options in rural areas dump untreated water in the local waterbodies. You, as a traveller, can ease off the burden by packing in degradable soap, which can also be used for laundry. There are a number of environment friendly soaps available in the local markets and online shopping portals that you can take a pick from.
While there’s this and quite a lot that you can do to go eco-friendly while travelling, do chime in with more suggestions. We will be happy and more than eager to add any suggestion to our list. Till then, travel green.
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