Prep your house: Before you set off on vacation, make sure to turn down your thermostat and turn off the lights – keeping the heat running and lights on will use up unnecessary energy while you’re gone. Completing this step will not only help the environment, but it will cut down on your bills too!
Pack Smart: Before hitting the road, ensure that you’re only packing what you absolutely need. The heavier your bags are, the more fuel your mode of transportation will be forced to use. Plus, packing light is beneficial on many levels: not only do you have fewer things to lug around, but it also teaches you to be more minimalistic and live simpler.
Bring a Reusable Bottle. As simple as it may sound, this step can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint while traveling. By bringing a reusable bottle (preferably made of metal or glass), you’ll be able to cut back on a substantial amount of wasteful plastic that comes along with buying bottled water. In addition to reducing your plastic consumption, you’ll also be saving water – it takes about 3 litres of water to manufacture 1 litre of bottled water!
Choose Your Method of Travel Wisely. Consider how far you have to travel when selecting your mode of transportation. Although trains and busses may take a bit longer, they are more efficient and eco-friendly ways to get to your destination.
Airplanes. Often times, taking an airplane is unavoidable. If this is the case, try and select a flight with the most direct route. Despite being a tad bit more expensive, you’ll be significantly reducing your carbon footprint as planes use the most fuel during takeoff and landing.
Pick a Green Hotel. When deciding on a hotel, be sure to ask questions about the hotel’s recycling program, whether or not it has programs in place to reduce consumption, and if it is locally owned and staffed. While staying at the hotel, choose to reuse your sheets and towels, rather than having them washed and changed each day. Keep showers short to save water, and turn off all electronics and air conditioning/heating when you leave your room for the day.
Rent a Bike. One of the best ways to see a new city is to see it on a bicycle! You’ll get to move quickly through your destination while avoiding traffic, see the city like a local, and help the environment.
Eat Local. Another great way to see the city like a local while staying green is to consume locally sourced food. For a fresh meal that will also help support the community, make sure to look for restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients. You can also look for local farmers markets to get fresh ingredients to cook with.
PS: A great way to compensate for some of that carbon footprint is to get outside, get dirty, and plant a tree!
For this year’s Women’s Day in South Africa, we want to introduce a woman in sustainability who inspires us daily. After earning a Master’s degree in Development Studies, she joined Greenpop in 2014. When she is not heading up programmes across Sub-Saharan Africa, you can find her spending time with her family, tending to her garden, practising Italian, and searching for the best pizza in the Mother City. Get to know Zoë Gauld-Angelucci!
World Environment Day is organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and has been held annually since 1974. The goal of the day of action is to promote environmental awareness and draw attention to crucial concerns around our planet’s survival, that require active engagement and commitment. Today, the day represents one of the largest global platforms for environmental action, with millions of participants from around the world. Each World Environment Day focuses on a specific issue that reflects urgent problems and challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss or pollution.
Composting is surprisingly easy with these 4 steps – you can even do it at home, and don’t need a lot of space.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.