Many yogis consider summer to be the best time of the year to travel, but it isn’t always the most eco-friendly. Whether we find that we’ve overpacked or forgotten several essential items once we’ve reached our destination, there always seems the be something that throws us off and leads to more energy use or wastefulness than necessary.
As yogis, we know that we share a deep connection with our environment. Though we may indulge in modern day activities that are purely for pleasure and entertainment purposes — such as taking a luxurious vacation — there are all sorts of eco-friendly tweaks we can make to help conserve energy and reduce waste.
Wherever you’re headed this summer, aim to integrate g the following eco-friendly tips into your travel planning.
1. Plan to include nature-inspired elements in your trip.
Summer trips like camping, cottaging, and road tripping already have elements of nature built into them, which can naturally inspire you to do your part to help out the environment. But even if you’re staying at a hotel in the city or at your grandparents’ house in the suburbs, finding ways to incorporate elements of nature into your trip can help you remain aware of your connection to nature. Exploring the location’s outdoor environment by checking out natural landmarks, getting active outdoors, and eating outdoors are just a few things you can do to naturally encourage yourself to align your activities with eco-friendly practices.
2. Plan to get active on foot or by bike.
Long distance travel may require driving or flying, but anything located in the vicinity of your hotel/cottage/campground can probably be accessed by walking, hiking, biking, or at least by taking public transportation. Plan your route way ahead of time so you don’t waste time and fuel driving around and trying to figure out where you’re going. Look up trails, guided tours, bicycle rentals, and other sources of eco-friendly modes of transportation before you embark on your trip.
3. Plan to bring your own reusable bottles and containers.
Unless you’re traveling to a place where the local water supply poses a potential threat to your health, you can avoid having to buy plastic bottled water by bringing your own reusable bottles and filling them up before you head out on your adventures. Likewise, if you’re bringing your own food, make sure to pack them in your own containers rather than in bags or paper. Containers may take up more space, but you won’t have to throw them out after they’ve been used just once.
4. Plan to eat local.
Instead of lugging all your food with you your trip, which could result in extra luggage and unnecessary waste, find a local farmers market or grocery store around your destination so you can stock up on foods as needed. You could even check out local restaurants, specialty food stores, breweries, wineries, and other producers/suppliers of local foods to help support the local economy as well as the environment. As an added bonus, you’ll get the chance to immerse yourself in the culture by eating local.
5. Plan to do your research well ahead of time.
Making your trip as eco-friendly as possible has a lot to do with effective planning done at least a week or so before you plan to go. As you consider each of the above tips, plan to educate yourself about all the places you want to visit by researching them online, calling or emailing each place for more information, or even asking people you know who’ve been there about their experience. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what to bring, what not to bring, and what eco-friendly options there are available.