Sustainable Travel: Tips & Tricks to Becoming an Eco-Friendly Adventurer

Earth Day is right around the corner and we are celebrating by sharing awesome ways to be green and sustainable while traveling! We believe in travel but know that it can be challenging to maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle when you’re on the road (or plane, train, etc.) and especially when you have little ones traveling with you.

We’ve rallied the troops and collected some awesome tips and tricks from eco-friendly, sustainable, organic mommies. We’ve also included some tips of our very own and we’d love to hear from you too! What are some ways that you practice sustainable travel?

Bring reusable products with you!

sustainable travel mamanlousden
image courtesy of Lindsay Gallimore

Lindsay Gallimore, eco-parenting mama blogger based in Alberta, Canada, @mamanloupsden, says: “Avoid single-use plastics by packing your own water bottles and even your own cups if you’re going to an all-inclusive resort that serves drinks in disposable cups. Don’t take a straw unless you need one. And depending on your destination, you don’t have to leave cloth diapers at home!”

We love Lindsay’s advice about straws! If your littles drink better with straws, try reusable and washable straws like the FinalStraw. This one is a great option because it collapses and fits into a keychain, which is perfect for traveling!

Stay organized.

tiny green mom for sustainable travel
image courtesy of Tana Siebold-Johnson

Tana Siebold-Johnson, aka The Tiny Green Mom and @TinyGreenMom, adds, “Traveling & staying organized with little ones is always a challenge! To cut down on plastic waste, use patterned reusable bags like the ones from Itzy Ritzy for storing everything from snacks for the airplane or back seat, to small toys, crayons & games. The larger reusable bags can be used for toiletries & socks, underwear or swimsuits. To keep things streamlined, have each child choose a favorite pattern so they know just by looking that it is their bag. Once you are back home, the bags can be washed & ready to go for the next trip!”

Pack less. Walk more.

rosanna sustainable travel blog
image courtesy of Rosanna Howard

The @thesustainablemom, Rosanna Howard, encourages parents to bring less with them when traveling. “When my first son was 10 months old, I traveled to Paris with him, alone. I did not bring a stroller, car seat, or any other gear besides a lightly packed diaper bag and two baby carriers, a Tula structured carrier and a woven wrap. My family and friends thought I was absolutely batty. But thanks to babywearing and a walking city with glorious public transportation, we had a fabulous vacation and traveled completely unencumbered.”

Rosanna goes on to say, “Now with two toddlers, a double stroller is certainly a game changer, but we still try to travel as lightly as possible. Sustainable family traveling for us means picking lodging within walking distance of as many attractions as possible, researching public transportation options, planning our sightseeing itinerary to minimize the travel between destinations (because nothing is worse than hauling kiddos in and out the car all day), and finding out if there is any necessary gear available to borrow or rent while we are there. Our family’s natural parenting choices to breastfeed, babywear, co-sleep, and implement baby-led weaning also significantly cut down on the amount of gear, accessories, and baby paraphernalia required to get us out the door and on the road! For green, sustainable travel with kids, less is more!”

What great advice! By limiting what you pack, walking more, and using public transportation, you can definitely minimize your carbon impact which is super eco-friendly! Did we mention that by renting gear, you are supporting small businesses and sustainability? No more buying new things at your destination!

Buy and shop local.

Wherever your travels take you, you have an opportunity to support local businesses, and shopping local means you’re shopping sustainably! Local businesses, restaurants, vacation rentals, and shops act as the economic engine of the community. They often have handmade items, organic food options, and products that are made or grown close by. So enjoy exploring the local community. It’s a great way to show your kids the local culture as well!

Ride a bike!

Photo by Vishal Banik on Splash

Why not explore your travel destinations by bike? It’s a great way to see a lot, enjoy the outdoors, and be eco-friendly while you’re traveling. You can almost always rent bikes wherever you are (and support a local business too!). Your kids will love biking around the city and they’ll be super tired by the end of the day too! Added bonus. There are a few bike share apps that may be a great option if there aren’t local shops available. Check out Lime! It’s an app that allows you to pick up bikes, scooters, and electric bikes! Remember to always stay safe and wear a helmet.

We believe in travel and adventure and hope these tips help you do so in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. Our last piece of advice: when your kids see the world and all it has to offer, they’ll value and respect it; which is sustainability in a nutshell!

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