10 ways to be a more responsible and sustainable traveller

There are plenty of ways to travel more responsibly and sustainably which can simply be the choices that you make or small actions you decide to do, which may feel like they make a tiny difference and perhaps you may feel, ‘what’s the point,’ but if everyone collectively tried to make a small difference in their own ways, there will ultimately be a bigger cumulative impact thus positively impacting the wonderful planet we live on and will help protect our resources.

Here are some ways in which to be a more responsible and sustainable traveller.

1. Where possible try and book direct flights rather than flying via multiple destinations to try and reduce carbon emissions.

2. Research into the hotels you are thinking of staying at to see if they have sustainability initiatives which can range from having a recycling program, biodegradable toiletries, solar power, energy efficient lighting, hiring local staff, on site organic food production, etc

3. Carry a BPA-free water bottle with you which you can refill and save you money and reduce the need to purchase single use plastic bottles. Carry a metal straw, or paper straws or even bamboo straws to limit the use of plastic straws. I came across one recently which now permanently lives in my handbag by Last Straw Official, who sell a reusable and portable telescopic straw with keychain case.

Last Straw Official
Last Straw Official

4. Try and take more showers in favour of baths to reduce the amount of water wastage.

Hotel showers
Hotel showers

5. Hang up your towels after you have used them which indicates that the hotel can leave them behind as you will be re-using them. There is no need to have towels washed after every use.

6. . When you leave your room, if you don’t have a room that is powered by your key card, remember to turn off all lights, heat/AC etc.

7. Take any leftover toiletries with you to use on future travels as anything you leave behind will just be thrown away.

8. Carry a bag with you and try to pick up any trash you may see on beaches, in parks etc.

9. Don’t book any unethical animal experiences. Always do your research properly. If in doubt, read my article which outlines venues to avoid.

Elephant riding in Jaipur
Elephant riding in Jaipur

10. Try and buy locally made produce where possible to support the local trade, whether it is in supermarkets, corner stores or even on the streets.

local crafts in Cyprus
Local crafts in Cyprus

Do you have suggestions on how to be a more responsible and sustainable traveller? Let me know in the comments below xx


About Binny

Hi, I'm Binny - a writer, dreamer and serial wanderluster with a love for Wildlife Conservation. I am originally from Kenya but I now live in London. 'Karibu' to Binny's Food and Travel! I regularly share my experiences eating out, cooking and travelling, both in the UK and globally, as well as educate on the plight of Wildlife. I am an ambassador for World Animal Protection and regularly support the work of The Born Free Foundation, Four Paws and Dreams Come True Charity. I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way. It's my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible!

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  1. kerry wrote:

    Some fab tips here Binny, and I totally agree that just making small steps makes a difference. Everyone needs to get over this thought process of I won’t make a difference. ANY steps, no matter how small make a difference don’t they. It makes me upset to see those elephants all lined up to be ridden….. 🙁
    I have become a much more conscious traveller in the last five years or so, its a great topic to discuss xx

    Posted 6.1.19 Reply
  2. Harpreet wrote:

    Some great tips here as always B! Love that the straw comes with its own cleaning gadget!

    Posted 6.1.19 Reply
  3. Such great tips and definitely not something people always think about.

    Posted 6.1.19 Reply
  4. Bejal wrote:

    Totally agree with each and every single one of these and always incorporate into my trips! Very important points that everyone should be mindful about.

    Posted 6.1.19 Reply
  5. Steve Daly wrote:

    A great post Binny! We already try to do these things – direct flights are a must. I mean, apart from the additional carbon emissions, who wants to spend 2-3 hours hanging around in an airport waiting for the next flight – I want to get to my destination because either adventures or home awaits! On our recent visits to Kenya, it has been heartening to find safari camps that now give their guests a refillable water bottle each and have a facility to refill them from. Far better than the one use plastic bottles of drinking water that used to be the norm.

    Posted 6.1.19 Reply
  6. Jo wrote:

    I particularly enjoyed the bit about ethical animal experiences, it’s not something that’s widely thought about.

    Posted 6.2.19 Reply
  7. Love, love love all of these – plus, my long-time hatred of connecting flights is also helping the environment makes me extra happy!

    Posted 6.2.19 Reply
  8. Venetia wrote:

    Such an important message. One of the hardest things about travelling is knowing that I am contributing to the climate crisis, good to have some tips to reduce my impact. Thank you

    Posted 7.1.19 Reply
  9. Julia wrote:

    This is a brilliant post! Travelling can be really costly in terms of the environment, so it’s our job to do our best to be sustainable. The whole hotels situation I actually find upsetting – so much water wasted, products, plastic, everything. Same with straws or plastic cups that are sometimes unavoidable unfortunately. Picking up rubbish is a great idea, and a good way to give back to the universe 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    Julia x

    Posted 8.17.19 Reply
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