A guide to responsible travel: 10 super easy ways to reduce your impact

As a family, we’ve spent the last 17 years travelling the world and trashing the Planet.

And even though we only had one long haul flight to Vancouver – with most trips concentrating within European borders – we dared to start a travel blog with an idea to encourage other people to hop on planes too.

I wasn’t comfortable putting all the destinations into a carbon footprint calculator to find out how many tonnes of CO2 we have produced, I was aware it’s near-disastrous; on our last trip to Biarritz, we made it even worse by adding yet another unnecessary 1.5 tonnes of CO2 into the already damaged atmosphere.

So, where do we draw a line? Do we just ignore urgent climate change facts and wait for someone else to fix it? Is global warming even real and is sustainable travel or life for that matter even possible?

I’m mature enough to realise that offsetting our carbon footprint, planting trees and not eating meat isn’t the same as not getting on the flight. Inevitably I have to, and you too, if you travel the world, consider the implications.

As avid travellers we’ve seen plastic-covered beaches, we’ve built sandcastles from sand mixed with cigarette butts and used condoms, we’ve witnessed questionable behaviour from other tourists – the list goes on.

The bottom line is, our planet desperately needs us to make a more conscious decision, and there is so much we can do daily while exploring the world. Strive to support local businesses, think about how you interact with local people and seek to improve who you are  – these are just a few examples anyone can incorporate in their itinerary.

Eat more local produce and get to know growers.

A guide to responsible travel: 10 super easy ways to reduce your impact

I’m super idealistic, and I’m an optimist too!  I believe one person can make a difference and change the world for the better – don’t allow yourself to make excuses, lots of stuff may look challenging, but the planet doesn’t have to suffer because of your convenience.

Move towards being your better self – you have more power than you think. All you have to do is to shift your paradigm from self-centred to global.

In this post, we share a few ideas you can implement in your routine, both at home and on the road. Start off by making small adjustments – in the long run, they’ll change the bigger picture.

#1. Be a mindful traveller

Travelling is fun, and if you are willing to learn, it can also enlighten the importance of protecting our environment and not leaving a trail of unnecessary waste behind.

We believe that one person can make a huge difference and that we should all try to produce less waste, conserve water and electricity, buy local goods, dress appropriately where needed, protect wildlife and always give back to local communities.

Be a mindful traveller, set a good example and try to incorporate as much as you can even if it isn’t your country.

On the road or at home, keep our Planet clean by reducing your plastic consumption- say goodbye to fancy shower gels and plastic straws. Lead by example – pick up plastic bottles and other rubbish you spot along your travels.

When exploring far of lands, use common sense and go deeper than a surface.

#2. Give back to communities

So much about travel is interacting with local people and giving back to the communities; giving back is powerful, and it doesn’t have to come with a price tag.

Volunteering while travelling is a trend we love because this way you to meet like-minded people and you can help preserve the planet all while helping local communities.

Before you sign up for one of the programs, keep in mind that most of them – be it long term or short term ones – are where the service comes first and vacation – second.

If you want to travel with purpose, are looking for a challenge and want to provide a lasting difference then check out these organisations that arrange volunteering opportunities: GeoVision, Volunteer World, Global Service Corps, Cross-Cultural Solutions and Transitions Abroad.com.

#3. Swap single-use plastic for reusable alternatives

Don’t you want to live in a world that is protected and safe? Of course, I feel like I don’t have the right to preach about environmental problems because I still use plastic and also travel occasionally.

But I strongly believe that the world can be changed by an example, not by opinion and there’s so much we can do on a daily basis.

This can be done by using bamboo toothbrushes that come in recyclable paper packaging. Or even swapping plastic bags for cloth tote bags – carrying one in your bag, leaving one at work or in your car – is one of the easiest switches.

  • Get yourself a refillable water bottle
  • Stock up on bamboo toothbrushes
  • Invest in a reusable coffee cup
  • Use Beeswax  – a fantastic alternative to cling film
  • Swap liquid toiletries for bars
We are so lucky to live on such a beautiful planet.

#4. Travel by trains and use public transport

Travelling by train is the best way to see Europe and the World – is there anything more soothing than watching the beautiful landscape roll by? Many train rides in Europe offer an abundance of amazing views that change every hundred metres while transporting you to a new country.

In general, train rides, if compared to air travel, are much cheaper, especially short distances. You don’t have to pay extra for your luggage and depending on the train type, and the train operator can even bring your bike.

Train stations are usually located within the city centre and once you arrive, limit the use of taxis.  Instead, take public transport or walk around because by walking around you’ll get fitter, save money and see much more.

Munich’s central train station, Germany.

#5. Think about animal welfare

The best way to see wild animals is in their natural habitats.

Don’t go swimming with sharks in Oslob or visit wild animal orphanages such as Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. Don’t take selfies with sedated tigers or feed monkeys.

Do your research when it comes to animals you wish to see. Never book an experience that involves riding elephants or has a handler that use cruel methods to control animals; it’s best to stay clear of places where wild animals are kept in captivity.

If you see suffering animals, use Born Free, which is an animal charity that lets you report any wrongdoing you might see during your travels. You can also use #BeKind and #StopElephantRides to show your support through social media platforms.

Everyone needs to learn about the horrific truth behind elephant riding by watching videos about the crushing process, which is how these beautiful animals are broken into submitting to orders.

If you genuinely love animals always make sure your tour operator adhere to wildlife preservation policies

#6. Be honest on social media

What I have noticed is that we live in a world where travellers spend more time doing their makeup and hair and trying to get that perfect shot than actually enjoying it.

We live in a digital world where photos from Instagram accounts lure us into thinking that travel is all about wearing a pretty summer dress and posing for pictures with a sparkling champagne glass in hands – and don’t forget that obligatory wristwatch.

There’s way too much digital dishonesty – make a positive change and don’t be afraid to raise your voice about things you are passionate about while discovering more ways to bring positive influence to your community of followers.

#7. Eat local

Avoid chain restaurants and coffee shops such as McDonald’s, KFC and Subway and support local culture by buying locally grown and produced products. Imported food and alcohol also leave a carbon footprint, and that goes for Spanish wine on the American table and for Guinness in Australia.

Don’t you want to indulge in fresh and healthy meals that benefit your wellbeing and also help the environment? Knowing where your food comes from and being educated about the farming practices makes you more aware of what you’re putting in your body.

Look out for farmers markets that are usually overflown with seasonal products because there are lots of benefits of eating locally produced products:

  • Local food is fresher, full of flavour, therefore, tastes better
  • Local food is better for the environment because it has a smaller carbon footprint
  • Local food doesn’t come wrapped up in unnecessary packaging
  • Local food creates connection and community
Buying local supports farmers and saves money.

#8. Don’t buy tacky souvenirs

Travelling is one of the most extraordinary experiences we as humans can have, and there are so many of us fortunate enough who can book a holiday to a foreign country. Bringing home souvenirs as a gift to family and friends or to yourself is a common practice – people in general love collecting things, and they are reminders of the trip.

Enter any souvenir shop, and you’ll be overwhelmed by a choice of magnets, mugs, cheap T-shirts, drink glasses, key chains, miniature modules of famous landmarks and soft animals on display.  They might look cute, but in real life, don’t even represent the country you are visiting.

Wasting money on these tasteless items that most likely are going just to collect dust on a shelf is a senseless act. Say no to souvenirs produced in China that are most likely made by unfairly paid workers.

What to do instead? Try scrapbooking – collect ticket stubs, museum booklets and put them all in a book. Or, you can bring back quality textiles, good wine, spices and vintage travel posters.

#9. Do not geotag in nature

Did you stumble upon a beautiful place you are eager to share with the world? Before you do that, just think about it – what if someone follows your footsteps, visits your secret spot just to make a bonfire for a photo and leaves a trail of garbage behind?

What if on your next visit to your secret spot you are greeted by dozens of influencers from all around the world who arrive lugging large suitcases full of different outfits just so they can shoot energy bars and brag about it.

While the subject has seen some heated debates between photographers and explorers, let’s be blunt, geotagging in nature is ruining remote lakes, pristine forests, sunflower and tulip fields. It puts delicate ecosystems and wildlife at risk.

Some of the places we photograph in Ireland are easy to recognise, but there are some locations we deem secret – too many people take nature for granted.  Support the cause by using #nogeotag

Exploring Irelands West coast.

#10. Explore your own backyard

Everyone should feel free to travel wherever they desire – sleeping in a tent at the foot of soaring mountain peaks, swimming in gorgeous waterfalls and enjoying the beautiful scenery of a new country is what makes a lot of humans happy and content.

We were no different, for quite some time we blissfully ignored what’s in our backyard in favour of visiting far off lands.

Last year we made a promise to explore more of Ireland. We visited places we wouldn’t normally consider, and it proved to be as rewarding as travelling overseas, minus the airfare.

Make a point to explore lesser-known parts of your country, let’s say within a 150-mile radius from where you live. By doing so, you’ll stumble across some incredible sights, get a chance to learn more about the traditions and history of where you live, you’ll engage with amazing locals, and you’ll significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Exploring County Donegal and having heaps of fun.

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Now, over to you!

Do you implement sustainability wherever you go? Let us know in the comments!

Let us know if you are plotting eco-trip and have travel-related questions!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

55 thoughts on “A guide to responsible travel: 10 super easy ways to reduce your impact

  1. I’m waiting for responsible governments to grasp the nettle of global warming, ration everything according to one’s needs and put everyone on the same footing. Why should the caring few be the only ones willing to give up things that make life pleasant? It’s time we got back on a sort of ‘war-footing’ where we are all considered equal in the sacrifices we have to make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, there is so much our government still needs to do, but for our family every day is Earth day and there are many things we do to make a difference every day of the year. We both grew up living sustainable life and I can’t imagine any other way. I love simple things made out of natural materials and can’t stand touching plastic and I also don’t want to use products that contribute to deforestation. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and have a lovely festive season ❄️⛄❄️⛄ Aiva


      1. Yes, I agree with you and I too, try and limit my use of unsustainables, travel by train, bicycle etc., use only natural products and do my bit towards conserving my local habitat and beaches (regularly taking part in beach cleaning and pond clearing), but it is still unfair that it is left to only a few people to shoulder the burden of caring for the community. We need to put pressure on all governments to do something about it, to resist the siren songs of big business who say they will ‘phase out’ the use of plastics in ten years or so. Why not this year? So, their vast profits will be reduced? We are reducing the resources of our world.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I agree entirely with you on this! I believe that people need to use common sense daily such as not leaving trash behind on purpose and being mindful of others. I think people also have a responsibility to stay informed and demand the politicians make the planet their priority. Yes, we drive too much and fly too often, and there’s only so much we can do as individuals. The biggest Global challenges must be tackled by institutions, and we shouldn’t stop until the ice starts to shift. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a good day. Aiva

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much.

      I think we as humans are well beyond the point to even argue whether sustainable travel is unnecessary. Helping to protect the great outdoors by not geotagging your location is a hot topic amongst landscape photographers and outdoors lovers. I think it’s kind of sad, with all the information available online, that we need to educate adults on how to behave in nature because there’s a certain number of people that will act irresponsibly and leave trash behind, destroy plants and natural habitats all in the name of one photo.

      As Leave No Trace states: “social media if used the right way, is a powerful tool that can motivate a nation of outdoor advocates to enthusiastically and collectively take care of the places we share and cherish.”

      Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you had a lovely festive season. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations Aiva! A beautifully worded and placed post! I agree 100% and I have been doing just about all those things that you have suggested. I am glad I live in Europe where I can take trains, and I usually do unless there is no other way than an airplane, but in the US, trains are not as good, they are only good if you live north of Washington DC and on the east coast, what they call the Northeast corridor…but thank God here in Europe we can use trains and Spain has a great train system. Thanks for such a mindful and very important post. May you and your family have a Happy Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Francisco! I firmly believe that we all have to find a goal, weather it’s volunteering or dedicating our precious time to beach cleanups, because in the long run, it adds meaning and years to our lives. Traveling and living sustainably is what gives my life purpose and it also makes me happy and content.

      Trains are one of the reasons why I love Europe too, it’s such a fun and romantic way to explore everything there is to see and do. Wishing you and your family a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year too! I hope it brings lots of memorable moments to cherish in years to come ❄️⛄❄️⛄ Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Timely post. While any airplane travel adds to the problem, we try to limit our travel footprint by staying longer if we are flying. On this last trip, we using scheduled trains while in Italy and using the local bus service while in France. Taking public transport also gives the driver the chance to be on vacation. We used taxis only 3 times and whenever we could, we walked or hiked. While we started out with a plastic bottle, we refilled that same bottle throughout the trip. Some [people think that they need to wait for someone else to take a step. If we all did that, nobody ever would. At home, we walk or cycle to do our shopping whenever we can. When we must drive, we use an econo box car, rather than an SUV or truck, like the majority tend to do. We have been using reusable shopping bags for the last 10 years. At home we plant a garden each year and use rain barrels as much as possible for watering. Low flow toilets and taps and energy efficient appliances as well as turning the heat down in our house in this winter climate country also help. You are right, even if each of only changes one thing, it will all help. Cheers. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I’m very impressed by everything you do, well done, Allan. Firstly, I believe that as a collective we can cause real world change where traditional institutions have failed. Secondly, I’m an 80’s kid. And growing up in the 80’s though me that less is more and that the best things in life are truly free. I would never spend my free time senselessly shopping for yet another pair of shoes just because I have nothing planned. I had only one present for Christmas and I walked everywhere. We never had fancy holidays or Christmas extravaganza with excess food. We recycled and reused everything, from bottles to jars and from lids to cardboard boxes. Clothing and footwear was passed on from sister to sister and we made food from scratch and grew vegetables. And most importantly, we had heaps of fun. Nowadays it’s sad to read in newspapers about teenage suicidal epidemic and hear about people who can’t tell the difference between the cucumber and courgette. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, this world needs more people like you, Allan! Xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Minimizing our carbon footprint and use of plastic is always something that we’re mindful of when traveling and just in our daily lives in general. We don’t own a car (one of the advantages to living in a big city), I became vegetarian a few years ago, we always bring reusable tote bags to the grocery store, bring our own water bottles when we’re out and about, no longer use straws at restaurants, etc. I am always looking for ways to reduce my impact and really enjoyed reading this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s amazing, guys, I’m really impressed with everything you do to make this world a better place! It’s so lovely to hear that more and more people are committing to reducing their impact on the environment, because sustainable travel or life has never been more critical for our children, for our environment, and our future!

      There are so many things we can do every day that doesn’t even involve spending extra money on specific eco products. The “leave no trace” principle is one of the easiest ways to embrace green values on a holiday and leaving the places we visit better than we found them is the first step.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you had a lovely festive season. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We love using public transport too! Using public transportation is much cheaper than operating a car, and you can also enjoy a less stressful journey by letting someone else do the driving. Buses are what people often think of first, but there are many other forms of public transport. Of course, it involves doing lots of research beforehand, and you have to watch out for pickpocketers, but it’s so much fun, and you get to see more and meet lovely people. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This point really resonated with me: ‘What I have noticed is that we live in a world where travellers spend more time doing their makeup and hair and trying to get that perfect shot than actually enjoying it.

    We live in a digital world where photos from Instagram accounts lures us into thinking that travel is all about wearing a pretty summer dress and posing for pictures with a sparkling champagne glass in hands – and don’t forget that obligatory wristwatch.

    There’s a way too much digital dishonesty – make a positive change and don’t be afraid to raise your voice about things you are passionate about while discovering more ways to bring positive influence to your community of followers.’

    This year on our trip to Turkey, we found that tourists arrived with full make up and party dresses to catch a sunrise – making that climb to the spot with extra pairs of shoes and dresses. Maybe, they were inspired by Instagram posts in which travel was all about the perfect shot, dress and luxury. I will also be mindful of digital honesty, that is something I should strive for too. Travel is many things and when we share only the good bits, or only the most beautiful photographs, we may be missing out on depicting the varied nature of travel – unpredictability, adventure, mishaps, kindness, and the kind people and the not so kind ones too.
    Thank for your this post – it is though provoking. And wish you a very merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How did I miss your lovely comment, sorry for that! I know very well what you mean. On our trip to Slovenia, we had a chance to witness exactly the same behaviour and it was almost painful to watch as girls would change one outfit for another one and take lots of photos yet barely noticing beautiful scenery.
      And, I agree with you – travel is many things and often that involves feeling drained, getting a cold or even a food poisoning or missing your train. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, it’s always delightful to hear from you. Have a good day ❤️ Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s crazy — it’s about the experience and not about what you wear in the setting. I’ve never heard of this digital dishonesty and yet I do a lot on Instrgram. Interesting — will be watching closer? Oh what’s with the watch??


      1. Hi, Bernie, how are you doing today? 😊

        Digital dishonesty has been a big conversation topic over the last few years. We are all putting our best foot forward online – quick to show the good and even quicker to hide the bad. There are guys flaunting lavish lifestyles yet struggling with debt. There are couples that appear extremely happy yet live in a dysfunctional relationship. Majority of selfies are editted with filters and apps. And, very often, the lifestyles and beauty we see everyday on social media are heavily edited and unattainable, even to the person posting.

        I’ve seen a couple of very good educational videos about the topic trying to shine a light on what they refer to as #instalie and asking people not to be afraid of real life and real life challenges and not to benchmark themselves and aspire for the impossible. But, instead, use the platform to support and lift each other up. To learn and grow. To share love. 😊😊😊 Thanks for stopping by and have a good day 😀 Aiva


  6. Lots of good tips that I haven’t even thought of – like geotagging nature spots or volunteering during the trips. We already try to implement some of the others you’ve mentioned and always looking for more, especially to offset flying (since our other options are unfortunately limited living in Midwest of the States). I also agree that we can at least try to use “one person can make a difference” instead of just waiting for major changes come through. Just hoping more people will take it on as well rather than run around in pursuit of a perfect shot and bucket list check off with complete disregard of the surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no doubt that some of the best travel plans usually come at a cost – from over-tourism to gas-guzzling planes, travelling can often quickly take a severe hit on the planet. That’s why people, in general, need to seek out the ways to educate themselves about the arising global crisis. While flying is the number one contributor to CO2 production, the second biggest ones are resorts and hotels.
      We shouldn’t take Mother Nature for granted and should at least eat locally and say no to plastic straws.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your opinion, it’s very much appreciated. Have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, The Travel Architect!

      Travelling and living a sustainable life is no rocket science, it’s how we used to live, and it’s how we grew up in the ’80s and before that. And with this blog post, I’m not telling anyone to stop travelling. We believe that the benefits that travel can have (if done correctly) can outweigh the damage it does. The ability to expand knowledge and open minds directly result in travellers becoming more likely to advocate for the environment and cultures outside their own.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and I hope you had a lovely festive season! Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading all of your tips. I’ve volunteered while traveling, I ride trains, and bring my reusable bags (when I remember!) I also love farmers’ markets. I just don’t get how it saves money. Also not sure how farmers driving hours to the markets helps the environment. They use more gas, which I suppose is partially funded by the consumer who has to pay a bit more for the fresher produce. Still, I’ll continue to go to farmers’ markets for the human connection/social aspect of it. 😀 Have a happy holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We love visiting farmers markets at home and abroad. Not only we are supporting local farmers, but we are also getting fruit and vegetables at peak freshness while they’re in season. Yes, the farmers need to use vehicles to get to the market, but you can’t compare that to products that have to travel for over 1500 miles to reach your plate.

      And, one of the reasons why farmers and consumers are forced to drive to markets, which increases their fuel consumption and carbon footprint is because most of the farmer’s markets are located out of town. And they are located out of town because larger retailers usually require more central space.

      While living in Dublin, we used to by fresh blueberries from a local producer and paid EUR 5.50 for 500 g, not to mention they were packed in a beautiful wooden box we could return for recycling porpuses. We haven’t found a local blueberry farm in Sligo and if I fancy blueberries, I can buy them from Tesco supermarket, imported from Argentina, for EUR 2.70 for 125g plastic punnet, double wrapped in plastic.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope you had a fantastic festive season filled with lots of love. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great article guys! Agree with every single word. Sometimes it is easier to make excuses, but everyone should try to reduce an impact on our beautiful planet. We shoud all try to produce less waste, because one day it will be to late…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is important to do something rather than nothing at all. If you can only refuse a straw and carry your own shopping bag, it’s still a positive change because small acts, multiplied by millions and millions of people, can make the world a much better place. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely festive season filled with lots of love and memorable moments. Aiva


  9. Beautifully written with powerful messages Aiva. Many of the poorer regions we have visited recently are becoming more aware and more proactive than western countries. We try to be as conscious of this as we can when travel, but many times just by being there we are adding to the problem. Thanks for writing this piece, it’s important to keep it top of mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. When it comes to sustainable travel and life, I believe that every action counts, no matter how big or small. If you can only do a few things, definitely do them, don’t think that it isn’t enough. Traveling through fairly developed countries, or any other place for that matter, and being eco friendly can be challenging. So don’t feel bad that you can only do certain things, do your best in every given situation and enjoy travels. Merry Christmas to you guys and have a lovely festive season. Aiva


    1. Thanks so much! There’s so much we can do as travellers and visiting places that put effort into being sustainable encourages other cities to do the same. Top 5 environmentally sustainable countries in the World are France, Switzerland, Denmark, Malta and Sweden. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva


  10. These are all great suggestions. I agree with you that every action makes a difference. I always say “you vote with your money.” Pay attention to business practices that align with your values and seek their services. Walking and bicycling Are my favorite ways to see someplace new.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ali. The most important difference we can make is by making better choices in our daily lives and with this blog post, we wanted to share what we learnt as we learn it, because we are on this journey together.
      We find going plastic-free in the kitchen and bathroom the most challenging parts, but it’s also the most rewarding once we find solutions.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Wishing you and your family a very Happy and Healthy New Year 🎉🎉🎉 Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, it’s actually effortless to be more sustainable and less wasteful both at home and on the road. And as we have a soon to be four years old at home copying everything we do, we are more than delighted to learn everything there is to know about living more mindful together. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva


  11. With the affordability of air fares and the hassle-free transportation, a lot of people now go into traveling. The sad part is, not all tourists have that deep concern for the places they are visiting. This post is a good start to raise awareness among fellow travellers. More power to you, and your blog. 😊 I will be in touch
    -Carlo, TGF

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Carlo and thanks so much for stopping by.

      Sustainable travel and carbon footprints are such a vast and hot topic right, but it doesn’t mean we have to cut travelling around the world completely out of our lives. Train and bus travel is a good way to make travel more sustainable. Not only will you experience a deeper sense of place, but you’ll also decrease your carbon footprint. You can also avoid hotels with all-inclusive and big pools (too much food and water waste!) There are lots of little things we could and should do! Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  12. As travellers, a very responsible behaviour is necessary we must not spoil the destination for the natives and other travellers and most importantly let us not spoil the earth. A very responsible blog, much needed information provided. I found #9 the most important. Great job :))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you! Responsible travelers respect local people and the local environment in each place they visit. Traveling is a fun way to educate yourself about the world around you yet at the same time you need to make better choices while doing it because flights use a lot of fuel and have a high environmental cost. Going overland, respecting cultural norms, using local resources, and lessen your trash impact are just a few things anyone can do. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva


  13. Amazing post and great suggestions! I think one of the problems is that usually others expect environmentally-conscious people to be perfect (e.g. “you are vegan but you still take the plane from time to time so you have no right to.. ” mentality), whereas they don’t have to be, and the most important thing is to keep trying: we can’t be perfect but we can try to do our best to help others and the planet, even when travelling.
    I really loved your ideas! I also keep a travel journal which keeps all of my memories, and instead of buying myself a souvenir I usually go for a pair of earrings bought in each country that I go to: I know I will wear them, they act as a souvenir and I support local artists or businesses in the process! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When thinking about how to reduce our individual carbon footprints, one of the simplest ways to cut back on emissions is to fly less often. But for those who want to see the world, there are ways to make trips more sustainable, including where you go, what you pack and how you decide to get there.

      Transport is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants. Considering how you get to your destination and around it can help you leave a lighter footprint. We always choose to use public transport, bikes or simply walking around (even with luggage and toddler in tow).

      I love your idea of buying a pair of earrings. I only bring back things that truly inspire me like plates, platters and bowls to use throughout the house or various artworks. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! And sadly I feel like with all the low-cost flights that we have now, many people choose the cheaper (and faster) option instead of the greener one – I’ve been guilty of that myself… even though I love travelling by train! Now more and more people are aware of that though, so I hope things will change in the future 😊 Have a great weekend!


  14. I try to travel as little as possible, and in a sustainable way. But I have lived in asia, so I have traveled a lot.. And as a food writer I still travel (or not now, but a year ago,,)
    But I am trying to be responsible in every other way, and I buy mainly locally produced food. But the flyong is the worse, so Corona has had me stop flying at least.. Even if I normally travel with train as much as possible…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t travel as much as we used to years ago. Instead, we prefer to visit friends and family that live in different parts of Europe. This way we are always spending time with a small local community, and we get to go to places we would never go as tourists.

      In general, sustainable travel is all about making simple choices in order to lessen our negative impact on a given destination. Individually, each one of these choices makes only a small difference in the big picture. But collectively, becoming more conscious about these little things can have a huge cumulative impact. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Excellent post, Aiva and I agree on every single point. I have traveled extensively but intend to make shorter trips in the future. It would take me to really old age just to see all of Texas and Mexico is just across the border. What is the point of going on vacation and then not eating the local food? It is even better when you are not entirely sure what it is – armadillo,, perhaps?? I rarely buy trinkets anymore but I will indulge in local produce to take home.
    The pandemic has had some silver linings. So much less travel on roads and skyways. I will miss the quiet when this is all over but I will enjoy eating at our local restaurants.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Kerry. Before Ericeira was born, we had a great time exploring the world. We mainly stayed in Europe and travelled by trains. Even if people choose to travel, there are so many things they can do to lessen the impact. And most of them are ridiculously simple, such as using a refillable water bottle, travelling via train and taking your own reusable bag when you go shopping.

      Food is one of the reasons why I travel in the first place, but you’ll be surprised how many people go to Italy and end up going to places like Starbucks and McDonalds which I find incriminating. On my last trip to Edinburgh, I stayed in a local hostel with six other girls. Two of them had just arrived and the very first thing they did wast to go to Burger King for dinner. Of course, you don’t have to fill yourself up with haggis upon arrival but finding a local cafe/restaurant would be a much better idea. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gah! Haggis! Why would anyone eat that particular delicacy??? I was driven to distraction by a conference group that I was managing. They were staying in a period Houston Hotel with a perfect real Italian coffee shop at the entrance. Every day they walked three blocks in 100 degrees to get their terrible Starbucks coffee. No matter what I said, I could not convince them to change their habit. Finally we were our in the backwoods of Texas visiting food sources (their jobs) and one asked about a Starbucks. “The nearest Starbucks is 300 miles away…” I responded with a sigh. I loved your tip about geotagging, BTW. K x

        Liked by 1 person

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