Sustainable Budget Travel
Eco-friendly, Sustainability, Recycling. These are terms we are seeing constantly in our day to day lives and with good reason. With global warming on the rise as well as the increase in harmful emissions polluting the air, it is becoming so paramount to promote a more sustainable life where possible. Being on the road/travelling is no excuse as there are a vast amount of small changes we can make to achieve sustainable travel and even better, sustainable budget travel!
As travellers, we can often be in one place one day and another the next. Often exhausted by long haul flights and the demon jet lag. It can leave us feeling very lazy indeed. It’s much easier to grab a bottle of water from the guy selling it as you walk through arrivals than going to the toilet, cleaning your bottle, refilling the bottle and then popping a purifying tablet in it right? Of course, there’s then the wait for the water to be ready to drink. I get it we’ve all been there but since moving to Australia it has really become apparent that we all need to do as much as we can to keep this planet healthy.
My Sustainable Travel
I’ll admit before moving to Australia I was a keen recycler but I don’t think it really hit home how important it is to be sustainable where possible until living here. I don’t know if its because my knowledge of the ocean has improved or that I’m just more aware and educated as a human being since time has gone on. What I do know is that we are killing our environment, our ocean and our wonders of the world through overuse of plastic, increased waste and just being lazy.
Australia has a high tourism population and as tourists, it is our job to make sure we leave this beautiful country as we found it. As for so many other countries tourism pays for so much here and is all some countries have to rely on to make any income at all.
Before I go on I want to tell you how easy all of these tips are to implement so you can easily achieve sustainable budget travel! None of these tips requires much extra cash! We are budget travellers here and I know that I for one can’t afford to be staying at an Eco-friendly resort every time I travel. These are everyday tips that don’t cost a penny and if they do cost they’ll be saving the planet and you in the long run!
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any of these products then I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! (Sending you a big thank you hug in advance!)
Sustainable Budget Travel
Never Buy Plastic Water Bottles
This sounds obvious but if you take to the streets and watch how many people still buy disposable bottles of water every day then the results would shock. There is also no doubt that the results would shock the people buying the water bottles too. In this day in age, there is very little need to buy disposable water bottles. A lot of countries have safe drinking water and of course, there are many countries that don’t but you can easily buy water purifying tablets over the counter in local pharmacies. Be sure to stock up before you travel!
If buying purifying tablets just seems like too much effort then fear not I have an alternative. The LifeStraw bottle. This water bottle has been around for a while and is amazing! It comes with a filter system so that you can literally fill it up anywhere! Taps, toilets, showers, lakes, puddles, rivers you name it you can drink it once it’s been through the straw! You may be thinking that it’s a little pricey for a water bottle but trust me when I say that it’s so worth it! Also if you’re spending $5 a day on the water then weigh it up for a water bottle that lasts a couple of years? I think you already know the answer!
Stop Buying Coffee Cups!
We are all guilty of a cheeky coffee every now and again when we are travelling! But can we make it sustainable? Of course, we can! It’s the same thing as above. When we buy a takeaway coffee the lid is always plastic! So make sure you have your own reusable coffee cup or ‘keep cup’ as some people like to call them! That way you reduce the amount of plastic being used & most coffee shops these days will take up to $1 off the price of your coffee when you do use a keep cup! If that’s not sustainable budget travel then what is?! You can buy cheap keep cups literally anywhere!
If you want to go one better than make sure you use a cup that’s made from Eco-Friendly materials! I really like Frank Green their message and their cups! (They are also super pretty too which is an added bonus!)
Watch Water Consumption
Staying on the topic of water for a moment watching how much water we are using is also as important as watching where we buy it from. Coming from the UK where we have no water supply issues it was shocking when travelling to Far North Queensland and seeing multiple signs ‘ 2-minute showers only’ because of their lack of water. If draughts aren’t something you’re used to it can be easy to forget about watching how much water you actually use. Sure we all try and cut back on water usage to lower our household bills but remember it’s good for the environment too!
Especially when travelling. Think about it while you’re staying in a plush hotel using a gallon of water. A small town nearby could be trekking miles a day just to find water to drink. Think about where you are and how the locals around you are living. Use the ‘half flush’ on the toilet, turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth, don’t leave the shower running whilst shaving your legs – girls I’m talking to you!
Reduce Plastic Use
As well as reducing the number of plastic water bottles you are buying, reduce the amount of plastic you are using period. This means anything from plastic bags at the supermarket to ditching the plastic forks. As travellers, we are all into the local cultures and especially local foods. I’m the first person to be at the local street food market in whatever country I go to! The downside is that for most of these street stalls they are still using once only plastic cutlery. As a frequent traveller, you’re going to find yourself in this situation a lot! So why not invest in some bamboo cutlery that you can use again and again instead of opting for the plastic option! I’ve listed some cheap options below that will help you achieve sustainable budget travel!
Do Not Litter
Okay. This is probably the one that I am most passionate about and is the thing that literally costs nothing except a bit of respect! Littering is simply not acceptable. I don’t care if there isn’t a bin around, put it in your bag, throwing trash away on the side of the road, on a beach, in a national park or anywhere else for that matter is something that should not be tolerated and if you’re doing it you need to have a serious word with yourself in the mirror.
Littering anywhere is completely avoidable but when you’re enjoying a lush picnic on the beach I understand that the wind gets up and plastic starts flying around all over the place. Number one tip to avoid this? Don’t use plastic bags or wrapping. If you’re heading to the beach then put your food into Tupperware that isn’t going to fly away. Or if you don’t want to use plastic tubs then how about using paper bags instead? Of course still being just as careful to not let these escape into the wind.
Achieve Sustainable Budget Travel & Save Our Turtles
Littering has a major impact on our environment and our animals, sea life and other mammals living on this planet! Unlike us, they have no control over how we humans use our rubbish and dispose of it! Since moving to Australia I have learnt so much about how our littering affects other members living on our beautiful planet. I want to share a little example that hit me hard, I first heard about this at the Turtle Hospital at Reef HQ in Townsville.
When we leave our plastic bags on the beach the majority inevitably end up in the ocean. The east coast of Australia is home to hundreds of turtles which are becoming more endangered. Turtles as beautiful as they only have a very tiny brain! Therefore they see something floating in the water and automatically think it’s food. Turtles EAT JELLYFISH! Plastics in water look EXACTLY LIKE JELLYFISH! So what do you think the turtles do? Yep, they swallow the plastic bag. The plastic bag will then stop the turtles’ digestive system from working efficiently and cause ‘floating syndrome’. This means that the turtles will float and are unable to dive deep into the water to get food. Some turtles are saved but some sadly die.
You can read more about this here. These turtles need our help to stop plastic bags making their way into their home. Replacing plastic bags with tubs will really help achieve this and help you achieve sustainable budget travel too! Tubs can be bought for so little in all major shops & I even bet you have a few in the cupboard!
How You Travel
Travelling the world is an incredible thing to do and I am a huge advocate for getting on that plane and seeing what the world has in store for you! That said planes do give off some terrible emissions and have a negative impact on the environment. Though sometimes plane travel is unavoidable we can think ahead and make better decisions when it comes to flying. My favourite aspect of travelling the world is doing it slowly. We are spending a whole year here in Australia instead of three weeks taking 6 or more plane rides to see everything quickly. When you have the time, spend longer in places you love and reduce the frequency of your plane journeys, in turn, you’ll be reducing emissions.
Also, if you’re one of the amazing travel bloggers out there who gets asked to go on press trips left right and centre, think about the offer before jumping in and saying yes to everything. For example, if you’re offered 10 days in Australia from the UK is it really worth it? You’ll be flying for four days, jet-lagged for the rest! Just a thought, maybe a press trip will come up nearer to where you are, meaning less travel time on a plane and fewer emissions into our air.
Use Public Transport
As a self-confessed hater of public transport, this is something I’m trying to get better at! Public transport can be a nightmare! It’s busy, usually expensive and in Sydney, it’s damn right hot! Hiring that car has never been easier thanks to apps like Car Next Door but it isn’t good for the planet as we all know! So if you’re visiting somewhere with great public transport links then use them over the hire car! Fewer emissions on the road will do so much good! Also when you add up petrol costs against public transport costs you’ll probably find public transport will save you a heap of money in the long run! Better yet, if you’re up to it cycle to get around!
Research Your Accommodation
As budget travellers trying to achieve sustainable budget travel it can seem difficult when it comes to booking accommodation! Let’s be honest here, the majority of us can’t afford these fancy Eco-friendly retreats and hotels every time we travel! But I’ve found a few research hacks that can easily be done before booking a hotel or Air BnB.
In the long run, an Air BnB is probably going to be more environmentally friendly than a hotel. Hotels because of the size and nature of them will no doubt have a lot of waste and use a lot of plastic. By staying in an Air BnB you can pretty much live like you’re at home keeping up with you’re best practices when it comes to being Eco-friendly! But if you do have to stay in a hotel here’s two simple things you can do to try and maintain sustainable budget travel:
- Email the hotel or Air BnB owner in advance and make sure they recycle
- When staying in an Air BnB cook there opposed to eating out every single night
Staying in a hotel and not booked a room yet? Try Booking.com Today!
Travel Like a Local
When you find yourself in a new city treat it like you’re a local! Shop at the local markets, eat the local food, spend money on local activities ran by the locals! Nowadays thanks to the wonderful world of the internet we are lucky enough to be able to search ‘travel like a local’ and get thousands of results! There are so many blog posts out there guiding us around cities and towns like a local! More often than not the information about where to eat and shop is in there! It costs nothing to do a little digging and usually the food is so much better at a local restaurant than a chain! Who’s with me?!
If you’re heading to Byron Bay then they have farmers markets on every weekend so make sure you check them out when you’re buying your food in the bay! Check out this post for more information!
Let’s Keep Improving!
Sustainability is going to stay a hot topic over the next few years if we don’t start doing something about it. We are so lucky that we can access the world so, let’s make sure we all do something every day to achieve sustainable budget travel! All of the things I’ve listed in this post are so easy to implement and relatively budget friendly! The products linked are some of the products I have used and love but there are hundreds of other products you can buy, all you need to do is a little research! After all any reusable is better than single-use plastics!
I am not the perfect sustainable traveller by a long shot but this year I really want to focus on doing better this year! I would love to know if you make a conscious effort to travel green? Let me know in the comments below and let’s inspire each other towards a healthier, happier planet!
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