Unlearning old travelling habits requires effort, yet it is a necessary step. Frequent natural calamities and disruptive climate change events have made us embrace sustainable development as an effective strategy for reviving ecosystems.
Developing zero-waste environment is one significant action that ensures sustainability. A responsible traveller will always look for ways to diminish waste. It can be a challenging task for many. Nevertheless, if going zero-waste can keep one’s favourite destination intact, it's worth it.
Why is Zero Waste Important?
Here are the reasons that elaborate on the necessity of zero waste:
When travellers downsize their belongings and carry ample reusables, they contribute to zero waste while on the move. Yet there are less challenging and more convenient ways that convert a journey into a waste-free adventure. If you want to know more about it, here are three villages in India that are honest advocates of eco-tourism.
How To Go Zero Waste: A Responsible Traveller's Guide
Explore viable options that reduce your baggage and overall carbon footprint during your next travel plans:
1. Prefer Eating Out Over Taking Out: One common mistake travellers commit is to take out their food, which sadly comes with plastic containers, cutlery, and plastic bags. These items can be avoided when one decides to avoid parcels and carry their own mess kits to local eateries or cafés while basking in the scenic beauty.
2. Carry Mess Kits: A traveller can effectively reduce their’s carbon footprint with the use of mess kits. They come with an arrangement of necessary utensils, tumblers, and containers. Instead of using plastic or paper plates, a mess kit that decreases waste production and gives a hygienic eating experience seems a better option.
3. Don't Carry Packaged Snacks: A bag of chips can be the most convenient snack to carry while travelling. But that plastic packaging will be left at some corner of your transport. It's another addition to landfill elements. An alternative can be homemade food or pre-made snacks from your travel grocery that can be easily carried. Keep in mind, the container must be reusable.
4. Carry A Reusable Water Bottle or Thermos: Loads of plastic water bottles end up in landfills, while another considerable number pollutes and clogs our water resources. They kill and harm aquatic life and hinder the smooth flow of water. Heat-resistant and anti-recycling coffee containers add to the list. One can avoid them with filter water bottles or thermos.
5. Carry Reusable Period Products: A female traveller mustn’t forget to carry her menstrual cups or eco-friendly products for her menstrual days. You can avoid using tampons or sanitary napkins because they contribute to non-biodegradable waste. What's best, menstrual cups take up less space.
6. Stay At Local Boardings: Local homestays or boarding houses typically serve everything organic and use fewer disposable products. All in all, native people in a locality are more conscious of their effects on their environment. Hence, their actions are measured and sustainable.
NotOnMap, with their wide range of traditional homestays across India, offers an opportunity to escape the hustle-bustle of city life to a home away from home.
Travelling requires mindful planning and often complicated itineraries to pack. Amidst all, going zero waste while travelling should be a traveller’s foremost priority. Though many travellers have the habit of tossing away litter in a bag and leaving the place in better shape, it's better to dispose of them responsibly.
Apart from the above-mentioned tactics, a traveller must respect their surroundings, including the natural aesthetics of areas and the hygiene of their people. In a nutshell, abstain from doing anything that affects native sentiments, be it through food waste, cultural discrepancies, or economic disparity.
Remember, a traveller conscious about going zero-waste also educates and encourages the locals in every possible way.
Bonus Read: Did you know how slow travel contributes to rural tourism and community development?
Traveler | Copywriter