You’ve planned your departure, subletted your room, and packed your essentials. Now you’re on the road Eco-style. What does that look like? Here’s some tips to get started:
Cook your own food.
Whenever possible, try cooking meals for yourself to avoid using (and ultimately tossing) “to-go” containers. This too can be a huge money saver. (Finding hostels, guesthouses, or couchsurfing places with kitchens is very helpful!)
Bring a container to store left overs.
I hate having to throw good food away, and most especially while on the road! Always bring a container along just in case.
When you do eat out…take your time!
Avoid taking things “to-go”. After all, you are travelling, try to spare a few minutes to enjoy your coffee on the terrace as opposed to running off on your next adventure. (We understand if you have a bus to catch, but do what you can).
As always, shop local!
This is also a great way to experience the local culture. Try your hand at haggling prices and learn the local language! You may even discover new types of fruits and vegetables. In a Balinese market you can find at least four or more different types of bananas!
Be bag savvy
Bring a canvas tote and/or pack light backpack. Extra packs come in handy when visiting the local markets. Plus they are light and efficient to carry! If you accidentally end up with some plastic bags, see if you can reuse or repurpose them!
Check the water situation
When possible, I inquire about local springs or wells with potable water: Some countries have natural mountain water available, like in various parts of Europe near the Alps. In countries with non-potable water sources and water scarcity, invest in UV-light filters or if you go with purified water, invest in the largest possible sizes. Remember that we’re doing our best, but we’re not always able to be perfect.
buses or planes. The fuel footprint of planes and buses can be completely daunting, and happen to be a necessary part of travel unless you totally commit to only traversing by land (bike and walking only, which some people are doing now). Try to minimize how much fuel you use by sharing rides, taking public transport and rideshares, renting bicycles, and walking! If this is really important to you, create spaciousness in your daily schedule to make it work.
Practice acceptance when you make mistakes, and don’t get too hard on yourself. In 2016 it can be a struggle to be on-the-go in a foreign country where we are facing health and safety circumstances we might not face in our home countries. Be gentle, be compassionate with yourself, and know that Mother Earth appreciates your efforts and loves you unconditionally.