BECOME AN ECO-FRIENDLY TRAVELLER
We've got some tips about how you can become more mindful when you travel without having to compromise your comfort. From travel suggestions to tips on how to get to know a place you visit better by being an eco-traveller, you can find it all in our guide
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Taylor Simpson, Justin W, Nathan Dumlao, Maria Ilves, Yoann Siloine
11 November 2019
'a strong desire to travel'
We have all been there - desiring to get to the next new destination, counting the days until we pack our bags and explore a new place. Many people are nomads by heart. Some of the friends of NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine's entire editorial team can't stay put for longer than a month. They love to experience life on the go, and they are always planning their next adventure. This incredible WANDERLUST nostalgia is perhaps the closest freedom-like thrill that travellers experience. It revolves around the privilege to become part of something we have not been born into, but can greatly appreciate - unknown cultures, different nations, interesting traditions.
Wanderlust is all about becoming one with the world where we all belong. Nowadays it is easier than it has ever been for people in developed areas to travel freely across countries - continents even - and see how the world looks outside of their homeland. However, this easy access to places should inspire travellers to become more conscious of their habits whilst on the go.
The rise of Airbnbs, home-like hostels and hometels, wanderers have been defined as 'modern'. This is a great way to think about travelling. With time travelling evolved to become easier to manage, cheaper to organise and a way more fun experience in every aspect. Today people have more freedom to explore distant locations and exotic hidden gems. The very definition of 'modern travellers' presents us with the opportunity to be more mindful and respectful of the places we visit. This is especially important when it comes to preserving the purity of different locations so that their charm can be conserved for the nomads yet to visit, as well as for the locals and the younger generations of travellers.
We've made a quick list of suggestions about how you can become an eco-friendly traveller without having to compromise your comfort of change your trip plans. Have a read through and let us know which suggestion was your favourite.
1. FEEL AT HOME NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO
Weather you decide to stay in a fancy hotel or a hostel, even if it is a small Airbnb or a couch surfing spot, be mindful of how you use the local resources. For example, treat your toiletries like you would at home - use a towel more than just once and don't waste what can be re-used. When you brush your teeth, remember to close the water tap since you don't need it continuously on. When exiting a room, consider turning off the lights and the TV. Taking shorter showers can also help you to improve the environmental impact of your travels.
2. THINK GREEN
It is important to have a 'think green' mindset when you are exploring new locations. We are always appreciative when visitors take care of our homeland. In retrospect, treating other' home with respect is a must. Recycle, reduce your carbon footprint and cherish your surroundings. Nowadays it is easy to track the little things you can do to be an eco-traveller. For example, there is an app called The Tap app that helps you find a refill water station nearby. You can bring your cool water bottle and keep hydrated in all 7 300 cities that the app works with.
3. PLAN WISELY AND TRAVEL LIGHTLY
It is easy and very tempting to spend your hard-earned money on a holiday to some very far away place where the culture and traditions are completely different to what you are used to. We are all up for that and encourage our nomads to be adventurous in such ways. Before you book your plane ride and calculate whether you have to sail, bike or road-trip to the coolest places in the desired destination, think about what you might be missing out. There are some amazing places in each country that are not touristy-popular. Those less explored locations are often what makes different destinations so unique from one another. Sometimes the best way to get to know a different culture is to stay off-the-beaten tracks, considering you know where you're going. Instead of spending tons of money trying to see all the places that are listed as a 'must', try to see more of the native side of the destinations you visit. In most cases this would mean that you will use less transport service and cut down on your carbon footprint. It is a cool way to meet locals at the public transport or make friends with other travellers who might be up for giving you and your travel buddies a lift. This way you will see all the best sides of a place and be gentle to the environment.
4. RECYCLE WHAT CAN BE REUSED
Recycling doesn't just stop with separating your trash at home and making sure you throw away your litter in the correct bins. Eco-travelling goes far beyond recycling your trash. Depending on the type of trip you have planned, you can often reuse the things you've got. The same applies to the stuff you accumulate along the way, instead of throwing them away after one use. What we mean is, be considerate of how and what you use. Replace plastic with alternatives. Many restaurants, bars and supermarkets have already embraced the use of bamboo and paper straws, plant leaves for packaging, etc. Travellers can easily become part of this movement. Plastic pollution and micro-plastic have been a cause for environmental disruption many times before and, if we as modern travellers can help reverse this pollution process, then we must try to do so.
5. TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
The cool thing about being a wanderer is that it makes your soul rich. Travelling gives you a lot of things that nobody can take away from you - knowledge, confidence, cultural intelligence - just to name a few. Many of us are tempted to bring back home souvenirs from the trendy and eccentric places we've seen. However, NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine's team spoke to several travellers and found that what they treasure most post-travelling was the memories they had. Instead of packing your bag with tons of cool souvenirs you bought form the corner markets and the hippie shops, try to take only as much as you need - nothing more, nothing less - so that you've got the memories with you to last you a lifetime. Sometimes that means just bringing your camera back with you. That could make you want to revisit someday and see your favourite places all over again.