Travelling Green

Travelling green is the importance of protecting the natural and cultural environment of the places you visit. That means conserving plants, wildlife and other resources; respecting local cultures and ways of life; and contributing positively to local communities.

There are many ways in which travelers can be “responsible” without extra costs or most importantly without extra effort whilst on holidays.

Here are 55 simple ways to consider and you will save money as well as help look after the environment.

  1. Download audio books onto an iPod to listen to while on long trips.
  2. Pack durable, reusable water bottles to avoid purchasing disposable bottles.
  3. Bring sealable containers for snacks. They’re lightweight and reusable.
  4. Use Ziploc bags and reuse them when you travel to keep shampoo bottles etc. tidy and contain spills.
  5. Use rechargeable batteries.
  6. Use eco-friendly pencils instead of pens.
  7. If traveling with a baby, use cloth diapers.
  8. Bring an eco-friendly reusable carry bag with you for when you need to do some shopping.
  9. Support businesses that are members of the Gumnut Eco program, the caravan and camping industry’s’ sustainability program. Book a site or cabin accommodation, and purchase or hire your RV, caravan, tent, camper trailer and accessories from businesses showing a Gumnut Eco program logo.
  10. Only stay and camp in areas where overnight stays are approved. Rest areas are not intended for overnight stays.
  11. Don’t tie ropes around tree trunks or limbs as this can cause ring barking that will cause the tree to become stressed and dangerous.
  12. When putting up a tent or annex, inspect the ground before you peg into the ground to ensure the ground is clear of animals, nests, or delicate plants. If near water, make sure you are not within a king tide zone.
  13. Avoid using tarps or plastic sheeting as groundcover as it will smother any grass which can lead to erosion.
  14. Use foam matting with air holes or breathable multi mats.
  15. Wash vehicles and vans on grassed areas and use biodegradable detergents with no or low phosphate content.
  16. Use only formaldehyde free chemicals in holding tanks and always dispose of waste in dump points.
  17. Always empty waste grey water (from washing dishes and clothing) on a flat area at least 30 meters away from waterways. Where possible dig a small hole, pour water in and cover.
  18. Do not throw rubbish into dump points or composting toilet facilities.
  19. Use biodegradable, detergents and toiletries.
  20. Never wash greasy dishes in creeks, rivers and lakes – take a bucket of water back to camp if needed.
  21. Avoid disposable items such as plates and cups and use reusable crockery instead.
  22. Keep shower time short.
  23. If using a heater or air conditioner, ensure all doors and windows are closed first.
  24. Air-dry your clothing when doing laundry.
  25. Use toilet paper made of recycled paper.
  26. Use energy efficient light bulbs and LED lighting in caravans and RVs.
  27. Avoid using Styrofoam and take your own reusable cup for takeaway coffee.
  28. Separate rubbish into recycling and general waste.
  29. Keep rubbish bagged and up high or enclosed in a vehicle or tent to avoid wildlife getting to it.
  30. Deposit your rubbish in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave.
  31. Pick up litter and put it in the bin. Even if it is not yours.
  32. If in a cabin, turn off all lights and air conditioning when you leave for the day to avoid wasting energy.
  33. If taking a boat, empty ballast water in the same place it was taken in to avoid spreading marine pests and diseases.
  34. Use solar power where possible.
  35. Turn off water while brushing your teeth.
  36. Try citronella candles and natural repellents such as essential oils instead of toxic chemical insect repellents, especially if swimming in creeks and rivers or waterholes.
  37. Check there are no fire bans before lighting a fire and only light fires in designated pits and rings.
  38. Reuse tea bags by drying them out and using as fire starters.
  39. Ensure the fire is completely out using sand or water before going to sleep.
  40. It is illegal to take anything away from a national park – including wood. Purchase bags from a local supplier.
  41. Shop locally and help support small businesses in the communities you are visiting.
  42. Buy from local farmers and road side donations boxes.
  43. Avoid using fuel and take advantage of courtesy shuttle buses and local public transport or walk or ride to visit local venues and attractions.
  44. Bring your own or rent bicycles to get around the local area.
  45. Rent Hybrid vehicles when possible to save on fuel costs.
  46. When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter.
  47. If you’re snorkeling, don’t touch coral or stir up sediment.
  48. Think before you purchase – avoid over packaged items and choose items with containers that can be reused or recycled. Not all communities have full recycling facilities so it is best to take your recycling to a place that does.
  49. Never feed wildlife as they can become seriously ill or die from human food, they become dependent on it and may become aggressive. Snakes sense vibrations, so walking with a buddy or a group is not only wise, it will announce your presence to Snakes who just want to avoid encountering you.
  50. Do not take souvenirs from natural areas. Leave the flowers and pretty rocks where they are, you don’t know if they’re endangered.
  51. Keep electronic copies of bookings and I.D. Avoid printing things. An email with important travel information is ideal as it’s hard to lose or steal.
  52. Pass along books, magazines or newspapers instead of dumping them.Many park offices and laundries will somewhere to “swap and read.”
  53. Instead of buying books, newspapers & magazines, read them online.This saves paper, ink, energy and money.
  54. Only take necessary maps and brochures or see if there is an online version. Buy guidebooks online and use on your laptop or mobile device. This saves paper and waste.
  55. Remove all traces of your stay – even the smallest pieces of plastic litter like bread bag ties can have divesting impact on wildlife.