Today we are excited to share with you the latest in our series of zero-impact adventures: going “no impact” on extended trips! For years now, we have been researching how to minimize the impact of long-term travel and explore the world in ways that have minimal impact on the environment.
If you’ve been reading our blog for more than a few months, you know that living a low-impact, no-waste lifestyle is our jam. Whether we’re talking about adopting a low-impact home, eliminating disposable items from your daily routine, or getting outside and enjoying nature we are always looking for ways to make it easier to go zero-waste.
What is going zero-waste on an extended trip?
An extended trip is a journey that is longer than a weekend getaway, but shorter than a vacation. You can extend your trip by getting a job transfer, moving, or planning ahead with your family. Extended trips often involve transitions, such as moving to a new city or leaving your job to travel. You can also extend your trip by staying home with a sick child or traveling for a holiday.
Extended trips can be a great way to explore the world and experience new places, but they often come with major environmental impacts. When we travel long distances, we often fly, which can result in substantial greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) during takeoff and landing. Most air travel also results in significant water use, air pollution, and the waste of food.
Why go zero-waste on an extended trip?
The benefits of going zero-waste on an extended trip are many. We will start by examining how going zero-waste can be an effective way to minimize the impact of a longer trip. If you are exploring a new city, going zero-waste can help you reduce your reliance on bottled water and help you explore the city’s local food scene.
If you are traveling with family, going zero-waste can help you reduce the amount of trash you create while you are traveling and help you save money at hostels and hotels by staying in less expensive rooms without high resort fees.
How to go zero-waste on an extended trip?
The first step to going zero-waste on an extended trip is to decide why you are traveling. What are your reasons for traveling? What are your hopes and dreams for the trip? Once you have an idea of what you are traveling for, you can start to plan your trip.
For example, if you know you will be traveling in the summer, you can plan to get an ice chest so you can drink water at sports stadiums and save money by not buying bottled water at grocery stores. If you are traveling with a group, you can share water bottles and reduce how much trash you create together.
Finally, if you know you will be traveling during winter, you can plan to drink water at home and stock up on groceries to avoid paying high prices at hostels.
Tips for staying zero-waste when traveling
- Bring a water bottle and fill it up wherever you can. If it is a public water source, you don’t need to buy bottled water.
- Share water bottles with your travel group. This will help you stay hydrated and reduce the amount of trash you create together.
- Explore the city’s local food scene. This can be a great way to explore a new city without spending a lot of money.
- Pack food that doesn’t require a lot of preparation, such as granola bars or protein powder. These foods don’t require a lot of water to eat.
- Explore the city’s public transit options. This can help you explore the city and reduce the amount of fuel you burn when driving.
- Explore cheaper options for hotels. Hostels or Air BnB rentals without high resort fees can help you stay in less expensive rooms.
- Avoid air travel during the winter months, particularly if you are traveling during winter. This can reduce the GHGE emitted during takeoff and landing.
Traveling often comes with a hefty carbon footprint, so it’s important to minimize the impact of your trips as much as possible. Going zero-waste is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling long distances. With a few adjustments to your packing list, you can go zero-waste while traveling on extended trips.
Going zero-waste on an extended trip can help you explore a new city, save money by staying in less expensive hostels, and explore the city’s local food scene without spending a lot of money. Going zero-waste on an extended trip can be a rewarding experience that also helps you experience a new part of the world.