How To Travel Responsibly in 2019
Cheap Travel Shouldn't Cost The Earth
What are we talking about?
Every time we take a journey we’re making subconscious choices that have an effect on our surroundings. The world is increasingly open to us for travel so our choices can have a greater impact than we might think. It’s not our job to preach, if you’re here then you’re already choosing a shared bus over driving yourself; instead, our job is to show you some positive steps to take. These tips are relevant whether your taking a cheap coach back to Notts uni or flying off to Tanzania.
Plan in advance
Try to avoid the modern temptation of leaving everything last minute. Yes, it’s an attractive option to the time poor among us but forming a habit of thinking ahead will almost always save you money. Knowing where you’re going to be and when means you can make more efficient connections, travel prepared with the things you need and potentially share your journey with someone.
Bring water with you. Then take the bottle home
Single use water bottles make up 15% of marine waste according to a report by Citi GPS and they suck. The same report suggests that only 14% of all plastic gets recycled so even if you do dispose of it responsibly you can’t be sure it gets recycled. Let’s also not forget bottled water isn’t exactly cheap.
Does it go without saying to take your rubbish home with you? We hope so. The leave-no-trace campaign can mean more than just taking your crisp packets home. While travelling, don’t leave behind Chinese lanterns, graffiti or food that could poison wildlife. Your travel shouldn’t cost the earth.
Travel with friends
Got to get somewhere by car? Share the petrol and the tunes with some mates. Out travelling the world? Make friends at your hostel and share taxis. Travelling to a new part of the UK? Consider couch-surfing, house sitting or staying with a mate. The concept of hiring homes in all kinds of ways has taken off and there are a load of benefits you might not have thought of.
Accessing local knowledge is the key to travelling efficiently. Someone born and bred in Nottingham knows the West End Arcade and The Lace Market are decent destinations for vinyl and locally made art. Take your nose out of the guidebook and speak to someone!
If you’re taking a trip in the UK a car can feel like the only choice. Coaches can often take 50 people which means a similar number of cars off our roads and motorways. Do check before travelling on just any cheap coach, many operators run super inefficient scheduled services. Car share apps are gaining popularity across Europe to make travel cheaper and more sociable. It’s easy to imagine how great that is for traffic but it's less obvious how great this all is for mother nature.
Connect your travel with a walk
It’s a safe bet that most of us use apps to get us from point A to point B. Do you find yourself planning your route as you’re leaving the house? They’re saving us a lot of time and effort but they so rarely offer up sensible walking connections. Zoom out. Have a look at how far a tube or local bus trip would be to walk and try it out.
The benefits of not getting in the car are big for the earth but you might just find a local shop to pick up lunch from rather than a major supermarket. Yes, the mass produced cookies are pretty good but trying something brand new that you can’t get anywhere else can’t be beaten.
Thankfully it’s rare to find places that force you to print off a ticket these days. Trains, coaches and events are all getting on board with digital tickets. Before you head to the printer to get that confirmation email read the small print, will they let you use your phone? Or at the very least, if you’ve got no choice but to use a physical ticket, just select the pages you need to print.
Can you do all of this all the time? Probably not. Forming habits like this is hard work and in some places it’s just not possible to ride share and eat locally. Do the best you can and be a proud green traveller!
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