Eco-Friendly Travel Tips To Consider Before Your Next Trip from Maine Community Solar

Sustainable travel is possible, and we’re here to tell you about all the eco-friendly ways you can improve your traveling practices! We have broken it down to 5 key elements, thoughtful planning, packing with care, transportation and stays, eco-activities, and the mindful traveler. We hope these tips come in handy your next trip!

Book your trip right: If you use travel sites or booking agents, choose an eco-friendly travel agent or booking site to plan your trip.

Support struggling communities: After a natural disaster, communities need economic support and your visit could actually be beneficial in stimulating their economy.

Traveling to a popular destination: If going to a popular location to travel to, go during the off season to help ease overcrowding.

Travel through volunteering: One way to travel and support a community is to volunteer with a program that supports the area.

Choose eco-friendly products: Avoid sunscreen that contains oxybensone and octinoxate, these chemicals have been found to increase coral bleaching. Protect our oceans and opt for an eco-friendly sunscreen!

Bring your own: Instead of relying on the tiny bottles of soaps and lotions at hotels, bring your own toiletries and avoid sample bottles and single use products.

Travel light: Less weight on the aircraft, less carbon emissions, and less heavy luggage to carry!

Avoid plastics: Single use products made of plastics make up over 8 million tons of plastics dumped into the ocean according to the plastic ocean foundation. Use a water bottle, avoid adding to plastic waste and save money by avoiding buying water bottles during your trip.

Reuse and re-wear: Whenever possible, try to reuse towels and clean clothes, anything that is not officially “dirty” can be re-worn. Laundry accounts for 16% of the average hotel’s water bill.

Green stays: Support businesses that value their community, protect the environment and withhold sustainable values. Hotels, stays, Airbnb’s.. there are a lot of options out there, and it’s never been easier to find green businesses!

Use green transportation: If driving is a necessity, eco-friendly transportation, such as fuel efficient cars, green cabs, and public transit are great options. When possible, aim for green alternatives like biking, hiking, walking and paddling.

Opt for paperless: In this digital age, it has become much easier to avoid paper waste. Given the option, always choose E-tickets when flying. You may not save an entire tree with your single e-ticket, but they add up and it will make a positive impact over time.

Eco-friendly activities: There are so many things we can do without harming the environment and still have fun! You can go out in nature and sail, snorkel, dive, go SUP paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, go hiking and so much more. 

Stay on the trail: Traveling off the beaten path may sound adventurous, but how adventurous can you really feel if you discover you are actually damaging that “path” by unknowingly trampling a new growth area or stepping on nesting ground for an endangered species? Be kind to the places you visit and respect their rules.

Treat the destination with gratitude and respect: Did you know that in New Zealand, Iceland and the Republic of Palau there is a pledge for tourists? In 2017 Palau was the first to establish an eco-promoise for their tourists. The pledge said: “I take this pledge as your guest, to protect and preserve your beautiful island home. I vow to tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully.”

Be mindful: Of where you are and what your presence may be doing to your destination. If you’re traveling somewhere with droughts, try to help conserve water. If traveling somewhere struggling with fires, avoid adding more fire to the flame.

Recycle: Try to be a positive presence in these new places you are exploring, and remember, all of your eco-friendly practices from home can carry over to your travels as well!

Leave no trace: 3 incredibly impactful words we should all uphold every where we go.

Keep it local: Support local restaurants and businesses, buy crafts from locals and avoid chains and big businesses that take the economic support away from communities.

Be present: It may be tempting to geotag everywhere you go, but by doing so you are supporting overtourism, which can actually be very hard on small communities. Just be present and enjoy your time, if you feel the desire to share a picture on social media, avoid the geotag – it could help protect the community and add a little mystery  to your page as well.

Eco-friendly practices can be found and applied throughout all aspects of our lives, from our travels, to our offices, to our commutes and time spent at home. Sustainability can be achieved with determination to protect our environment and community. Another way to further your sustainability journey? Using clean energy to power your home or business! Interested in renewable energy for your home? Join a community solar program and save 10-15% on your electric bill and lower your energy impact. No solar panels, no installation, no upfront costs, just clean energy sent to your home through your normal electricity supplier!

Want to learn more about your clean energy options?