How to be an Eco-Friendly traveler ?

Travel and ecology do not always mix. The tourism industry represents, in fact, 8% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the World Tourism Organization. And yet, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling. Vagabond shares with you some eco-friendly reflexes to do during your travels.

Choose carefully your transport


The airplane is undoubtedly the least environmentally friendly means of transport because it releases the most carbon (about 285g of CO2 per person per kilometer). A bus, however, releases four times less. As for the train, it would release 20 times less! You will understand, if you want to travel in an ecological way, the best is to travel by train or bus. And if you choose the car, opt for carpooling, both economic and ecological. Among the other environmentally friendly modes of transport, walking and cycling are of course in the lead because they do not emit any CO2. The sailboat or cargo ship are also very good solutions if you have an adventurous spirit! Once there, try to avoid taxis and Uber (unless you are in a country where it is recommended by security measures), and prefer public transport: subways, local buses, bike rental, even walking in the ideal.

Pay attention to your waste

Whether it's on top of a mountain or on a heavenly beach, it's important not to throw away anything, even degradable waste. Indeed, it degrades the landscape and encourages other tourists to throw their own waste, and this for a long time, knowing that a banana peel will take 10 months to decompose ... The ideal is to carry everywhere with you small paper bags for your waste. And to avoid the use of plastic cutlery, or straws, it is best to take a Tupperware and a straw ion. In this way, if you eat in a local market or street food, you only have to ask the seller to fill you your bowl.

Pay attention to what you eat


Ecology also goes through good habits of consumption and diet. Did you know that producing meat for a hamburger would mean taking 25 showers? It is indeed the consumption of meat that is one of the most polluting factors today. So, why not be vegetarian, or even vegan the time of your trip? Also avoid certain products such as foods containing palm oil. Avoid big chains and fast food, and eat local as much as possible. You can for example buy on the market, fruits and vegetables. Avoid imported products, and limit your consumption of dairy products.

Bring eco-friendly equipment

Yes, the ecological approach starts even before departure! To simplify the ecological gestures, here is a list of some accessories that we recommend to carry:

  • A reusable bag: like a Tote bag, it will be useful for your purchases, and you will avoid having to use plastic bags.

  • A gourd: to avoid having to buy plastic bottles. And if the water is not drinkable in the country where you go, know that there are bottles that filter the water, and that you can fill anywhere, and drink your water with confidence.

  • A Scrubba bag to do your laundry : to avoid using too much water when washing your clothes, remember to bring a small bag to brew the laundry.

  • Organic shampoo and soap, like Dr. Bronner’s solid natural soap

  • A bamboo toothbrush or interchangeable head

  • Solid deodorant

  • A small solar battery to recharge your devices, especially if you plan campsites or long excursions.

  • Use solar milk instead of oil because it dissolves in water, forming a screen on the surface that will slow the photosynthesis of underwater plants.

  • Reusable cutlery and utensils, or even metal straw if needed.

  • Ethical and ecological clothing brands

Choisissez bien votre hébergement

Concernant le logement, essayez d’éviter les hôtels de luxe et les chaînes hôtelières de manière générale. Privilégiez les petits établissements locaux, les auberges de jeunesse, ou encore le couchsurfing, idéal car il vous permet de limiter vos consommations d’énergie.

Respectez la nature

Durant vos voyages, soyez respectueux de l’environnement : ne prélevez pas la flore qui vous entoure, et évitez de toucher et de donner à manger aux animaux que vous rencontrez. Enfin, empruntez les sentiers tracés et ne coupez pas à travers champs.

Choose carefully the way you want to travel

Having an ecological approach while traveling will also depend a lot on the type of traveler you are. You can choose to travel by making a gesture for the planet, for example by working in an NGO, an ecological farm or a shelter in exchange for housing. And if you go with a travel agency, choose an eco-responsible travel agency. In addition, before visiting a wildlife park, or going on an excursion, find out more about the organization and do not hesitate to ask questions to the establishments to know if they adopt an ecological approach, respectful of animals and the environment. Also know that in some countries you can scuba dive in exchange for your help to clean up the seabed. This allows you to dive for free while making a gesture for the planet.

Offset your greenhouse gas emissions

And if you have not been able to follow these green steps during your travels, you still have the opportunity to offset your greenhouse gas emissions otherwise, once you get in, recycling, moving on foot, reducing your consumption of water and electricity for example. You can calculate the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by your mode of transport on the website Myclimate or Climatmundi.