My sustainable journey literally happened overnight.
I don’t mean the process. That is ongoing. I mean the passion to do more for our environment.
Sure, I was environmentally conscious and I made an extra effort to recycle, but, looking back, my efforts were haphazard. It wasn’t that I didn’t care. I did care about the environment, deeply. It was just that I didn’t take the time to educate myself.
Like so many people, I was working long hours with a jam-packed to-do list, and researching responsible tourism and eco-friendly products just didn’t rise to the top of that to-do list.
Does this sound familiar, by chance?
If this sounds like you, then you are in the right place. Together, we will learn how to be eco-friendly, responsible tourists. And please remember that taking small steps in the right direction influences others who then make small steps in the right direction.
Mine sure did! I was dancing on a beach in Thailand when it hit me. Literally, a bottle hit me. It was the first full moon of 2019 and I was attending the legendary Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach in Thailand.
There I was in my glow-in-the-dark body paint and my fast-fashion outfit complete with neon and fringe, passing around a communal bucket of booze, and letting the waves wash the sand off my legs from a night of dancing.
The first rays from the morning sun revealed a sight that has stuck with me.
I resolved then and there to quit using plastic water bottles. And it has been more than one year since I last touched a single-use, plastic water bottle to my lips – and I spent most of that year living as a nomad. So it is possible to ditch plastic while traveling!
It wasn’t always easy, but I learned along the way. Check out my 10 Tips to Avoid Using Plastic Water Bottles When Traveling to help you ditch the plastic. You can do this, too!
Once you take that first step to ditch single-use, sustainable plastic it probably won’t stop there.
For me, ditching single-use, plastic water bottles led me to notice all the single-use plastic that I was casually consuming without even thinking.
I started carrying my own bamboo utensils; a foldable, reusable beer cup found its way into my backpack; a bendable, reusable wine glass into my carry-on; a rubber, reusable plate joined the beer cup so that I could avoid plastic food containers…you get the picture, right?
Here’s my go-to, eco-friendly travel product list with descriptions of each product.
As you can imagine, this passion for sustainability bled into all aspects of my life, not just travel. And it probably will for you, too. (You’ve been warned!)
I now have chewable toothpaste tablets, deodorant cream in a glass jar, natural sunscreen bars, shampoo and conditioner bars, and the list goes on.
Lucky for me, I grew up in an uber environmentally conscious home, so my parents are teaching me about sustainable living and sustainable recipes, like this sustainable cereal recipe that my mom made from her pantry while we were quarantining during the coronavirus crisis.
While we’ll talk a lot in these pages about sustainable living, sustainable eating, and sustainable products, the focus will be on responsible tourism.
That stretches beyond environmental awareness to ethical awareness.
For instance, a lot of times, tourists don’t realize when they are contributing to the harm of animals. I talk a lot about that in this post in which I stayed the night with elephants at an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand. It was a seriously moving and impactful experience.
Please read this post. And please don’t ever ride an elephant.
Whatever your travel style, whether you are a solo traveler or whether you strive to travel deeper and seek more from the culture you are exploring, we should all be sustainable travelers.
Thank you for reading this. Please contact me if you have story ideas or sustainability stats or products to share. I’m very passionate about sustainability, and I would love to hear from you.