Traveling green isn’t just good for you–it’s good for your fellow travelers, and your world. Travel is a wondrous experience but there’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a gorgeous destination to find it overrun with trash.
As a Go! Girl we know you are a lady of humor, class, and most importantly, ethics. Here are 5 ways to add balance and positive environmental impact to any trip you are planning.
Opt for Eco Lodges
Not a backpacker but still looking for a posh stay somewhere? These places normally offer vegetarian/vegan meals which help to reduce your overall carbon footprint because it takes so much more energy to cultivate and harvest a meat based dish. Eco lodges promote many other sustainable practices like the use of low flow toilets & showers, employment of local help, and they are constructed using recycled building materials.
I stayed at the Eco Yoga Park outside of Buenos Aires last year and helped to build new constructions out of cow poo and plastic water bottles! If you would rather not handle cow poo in the name of greening your travels, check out Global Base Camps; a travel resource which searches a customized database for luxury spa and hotel getaways that are sustainable and crazy gorgeous.
Green Your Period
Each year 20 billion pads and tampons are disposed in our nation…that is not counting countries you are thinking of traveling to. Morph your period into a time of saving the earth with these alternatives that do not require too much besides a little planning and purchasing.
Reusable menstrual cup: The Diva Cup is easy to transport, clean, and has been around for a while. It eliminates the need to purchase period supplies altogether. Check out our write up on the plethora of Aunt Flo cups here.
Organic Cotton Tampons: Consider using a tampon that is less harsh on the environment and your lady parts—Seventh Generation offers certified organic tampons-which means the cotton used for your tampon was not treated with Chlorine-a source of a known carcinogen called Dioxin.
Biodegradable pads/liners: A company called Flushaway markets fully biodegradable period products. You simply flush them down the toilet or put in the trash can where they will decompose within approximately 3 months. Check out their website to find a participating retailer near you before you pack your suitcase.
Pack a Reusable Water Bottle (with filtration system built in)
Plastic takes roughly 200 years or more to degrade in landfills and, in the US alone, 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills daily. Sure, it is fun once and a while to tote a fancy “Fiji” water bottle around, but a true Go! Girl is wickedly cooler with a water bottle that does not hang out in our worlds overflowing dumps. This seems like such a small act but it all adds up on the global scale. We love our newest non-hipster find the Hydros Water Bottle. They come in 5 colors, the plastic itself is BPA free, and there is a built in carbon filter. If you are going to a destination that might require a more comprehensive filter, consider a UV Steri Pen.
Be the green, frolic outdoors!
Do you have any idea how gorgeous this world is? Of course you do, otherwise you would not be reading this article and considering your impact on Mother Earth! While making a beeline to each country or states’ largest metropolises is a great way to get the pulse of a place, it is somewhat of a conditioned traveler response. What does the green Go! Girl do? She takes to the outdoors of unknown territory!
The next time you get off the bus in a new land, drop off your bag and round up a map and pen, circle the parts of the map that are literally the color green. Parks, walking trails, national forest, botanical gardens, oh my! Walk to said green space, pack a lunch, breathe and prance around a little…the skyscrapers are not going anywhere…however our green spaces are another story.
If you end up staying at an Eco lodge, you will most likely look into some of the package tours they offer. Many of these deal with the outdoors, helping the environment, and nurturing yourself in a spa/retreat setting. Look for a sustainable hotel that can point you in the direction of a day long excursion of tree planting. For example in Southeast Louisiana, if you visit the city of New Orleans, you can book a trip to plant baby Cypress trees and tour the bayous through the Gulf Coast Restoration Network. Whether it is helping the adorable Italian lady up the street weed her Tuscan garden or doing a day of volunteer service…get out there and plant something.
Happy trails my luscious green girl!