Zero-Waste and Vacations: How to Lessen Your Waste While Traveling Abroad

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Zero-waste practices and sustainability go hand in hand and should be prioritized, especially while traveling. You can reduce your carbon footprint and waste and still sustainably enjoy your vacation using zero-waste practices. Here are some tips on how to travel more sustainably and reduce waste:

*This article on Zero-Waste Vacations is a collaborative post – for more details please see my Disclosure Policy

Zero waste vacations 5 Winter Destinations for Solo Travellers - cape verde

Pack reusable essentials

When we travel abroad, we often use more bags and utensils than necessary. Many of such items are commonly disregarded. However, before you embark on your journey, you can avoid using single-use plastics and generating waste by using reusable items. This includes reusable water bottles, shopping bags, mugs, or other utensils.

Opt for sustainable accommodations

Not all accommodations are eco-friendly or engage in sustainable practices. To help support local communities and the environment, you should opt for sustainable accommodations prioritizing eco-friendliness. Look for places to stay that have implemented some of the following sustainable practices:

  • Waste recycling. 
  • Energy conservation practices.
  • Donations or other ways to support sustainability causes.

Get a zero-waste kit

Every environmentally conscious traveler should make themselves a zero-waste kit. This kit should contain reusable containers for shampoo bars, solid soap, toothpaste tablets, and other reusable items. With a zero-waste kit, you will actively reduce the number of plastic bottles and packaging wastes.

Choose local and sustainable food

The worst thing you can do while traveling is eat at fast food chains. Not only because they are most likely present in your own country but also because these chains are often unsustainable. Instead, you should try the local cuisine and support local businesses that use locally sourced food instead of imported ones. 

Explore street food stalls or farmers’ markets to discover genuine freshness and aromas otherwise unattainable in your country. This way, you get to experience the food cultures of other people and discover and learn more about new traditions.

Minimize plastic waste

It’s best to avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible to engage in zero-waste practices and sustainability. To do this, you can carry reusable containers and your own mesh bags for shopping. Avoid plastic straws when they aren’t necessary, or take reusable metal or bamboo straws. When you dispose of waste, do so in properly designated recycling bins.

Offset your carbon emissions

You can offset your carbon emissions in several ways to promote sustainability. For example, you can invest in programs that address such issues or support renewable energy projects in and out of your country. 

Support sustainable tourism

Not all tour operators engage in activities that promote sustainable tourism practices. Try to support only those who do and care about the environment. Look for community-based tourism projects that benefit local communities or eco-friendly tours.

Practice responsible wildlife tourism

In your travel destinations, you can engage in wildlife tourism activity. When doing so, it’s best to ensure that this activity is not harming or exploiting the local animals in any way. Only participate in wildlife tourism activity and events that promote conservation and benefit the wildlife.

Engage in sewing and upcycling 

If you are a sewing enthusiast, you can easily repurpose some of your old clothes or other items into new things that will benefit your trip. It can include handbags, tote bags, reusable product bags, or travel organizers. Don’t let your passion and your learned skills be unused. Employ them to reduce waste and give a new life to old fabrics. 

Secure your online activity

When traveling abroad, it’s essential always to be aware of your surroundings. However, this may sometimes not be enough, as cybercrimes are the newest threat to tourists. Many tourists get scammed online or have their personal information stolen while connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks during their travels.

However, you can protect yourself from online threats even while you travel with a VPN. Use a VPN for travel to access online content that would otherwise be restricted in the regions you travel to.

A VPN also safeguards your personal information and guarantees your anonymity online as it blocks cybercriminals from intercepting your data. A VPN encrypts your online data, making it harder for hackers to intercept it.

Some VPNs also come with additional features that you may find helpful, such as anti-trackers, antiviruses, or antimalware. All these features are meant to protect your online privacy and data from prying eyes and criminals. And it doesn’t produce much waste.

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