8 Super Easy Ways To Travel Sustainably

The simplest ways to start your ethically, ecologically and sustainably traveling journey. 

Renting a Bike

Image by @xokvictor from Unsplash

When traveling, it’s always the best option to get some eco-friendly transport; renting a bike is your best option. Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tokyo, Rio De Janeiro, and Portland, most cities are very biker/bike-rental friendly. If you need to travel long distances, however, try taking public transport. Or, if you have to rent a car, be sure to rent an electric/hybrid vehicle to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible.

Get a Filtered Water Bottle

filtered water bottle
UNSPLASH Luis Quintero

Investing in a filtered water bottle is an eco-friendly decision that will positively impact your daily life. Using a filtered water bottle while traveling not only helps you maintain plastic usage, but the bottle also allows constant access to clean, drinkable water regardless of your destination.

Stick to the Beaten Path

backpacking. off the beaten path.
Image by @hollymandarich from Unslash

When going on hiking adventures or traveling through trails, you might be inspired to stray from the beaten path and explore the native wilderness for a moment. While this may seem like an innocent curiosity, you may be unknowingly trampling the local flora and insects. Your simple wanderlust may result in the disruption of delicate native ecosystems that make up the beautiful environment you are appreciating. Try and stick to the path explicitly made for hikers; the plants will thank you.

Shop local

Sustainably traveling
Image by @thecreative_exchange from Unsplash

Shopping in the local area or even shopping through online artisans is a great way to support the local economy. Local shopping ensures you are getting unique goods while also inspiring artists whose lives are their businesses. By shopping through local companies, you directly access well-made, organic and naturally-made products. Plus, an authentic Indian dupatta is a much better gift to bring back than a fridge magnet from the airport gift shop.

Book with Green Hotels

The Brando

If you stay in a hotel, opting for a green alternative is crucial in traveling sustainably. Green hotels try to manage all points of significant waste creations. Food and water waste, energy usage are all measured, programs for recycling and buying locally grown organic produce and products are all programs implemented by the hotel. Finding a website to search for green hotels is a great way to start your sustainable trip!

Beware of Innocent Cairns!

Image by @karsten116 from Unsplash

Rock cairns are a great way to recenter yourself during a hike or find a slightly overgrown path. While they are handy to make for your fellow travelers, improper usage can negatively impact the surrounding evironment. Cairns holds multiple meanings throughout many different cultures. Educating yourself on cairns within the region you plan to travel to is part of every traveler’s due diligence.

Pack Sustainably

Sustainable packing
Image by @stilclassics from Unsplash

Packing sustainability is the most important part of keeping your trip sustainable. These days, we have the luxury of having virtually all of our daily necessities now come in a reusable form: razors, cotton swabs, grocery bags…etc. Ensure you put all of your toiletries in reusable containers; that way, if you run out, you can pick more up at a local, sustainable shop. If you do have trash, make sure you dispose of it correctly.

Reusable/Washable Masks

reusable masks
Image by @veradavidovaphotography from Unsplash

With the coronavirus pandemic still closing off much of the world, once travel begins again, it will be important to remember a new travel essential: a face mask. The pollution caused by masks is affecting our wildlife. Regular medical masks that are worn by much of the population only have a wear time of 4-6 hours, it’s no wonder why medical/surgical masks are strewn about all over our streets. One way to reduce your pandemic waste is to invest in comfortable fabric/reusable face masks. Being able to throw them in with your laundry is most ideal for traveling. Having reusable masks also allows you peace of mind; no one wants to be searching for an overpriced surgical mask in an area you’re not familiar with.

Daniella Fishman


Daniella is an NYC born adventurer with a love of traveling, writing, eating, and rollerskating. Dani is passionate about supporting local communities and exploring everything from bustling city life to quiet woodland retreats. There is an adventure around every corner if you open your eyes and mind to it.

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