How to look after the environment as you travel

As we travel around the world some of the most amazing sights and experiences are ours to behold and if you’re intending to leave what you’ve found in exactly the same condition for other travellers then you’ll already be doing your bit to protect the planet so more power to you.

If you’re in any doubts as to how you can make a difference when travelling abroad then check out the list below and remember, no matter where you travel, this is our earth and it’s up to all of us to ensure we keep it clean and safe for generations to come.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” John Muir

Modes of transport

Depending on how far you’re hoping to travel there are several means available that will create less impact on the environment. Bikes, walking and sailing boats are three options that will create little or no damage to the planet and if you get the chance to travel by any of these modes then make sure you embrace the spirit of adventure as you explore and experience a new setting.

Kayaking in the Philippines

Buy local

Avoiding the usual round of brand name coffee shops and fast food outlets in favour of local alternatives is certainly going to give financial aid directly into the pockets of those who need it most. Although there are plenty of reasons why it might seem more comforting or easier to stick to what we know, often when travelling it’s the more daring and exciting experiences that stay with us the most so be brave and buy local.

Thai food at the street market

Fruits in Thailand

Respect resources

Whilst travelling we can often become unfocused as to which resources are viewed as more valuable than what we’d expect at home and from water to electricity, respecting natural resources is what travelling responsibly is all about. Turn off taps, switch off lights and conserve water wherever possible as what you might take for granted could well make all the difference to a local community.

River in Ifugao, the Philippines

Don’t waste

The temptation to chuck rubbish away in an already overflowing bin or to stick a cigarette butt deep into the sand, can be an everso easy option whilst away from home but if you can store that trash until you find a better means of disposing of it then you’ll no doubt sleep a whole lot sounder. Waste is a huge problem in innumerate worldwide resorts and from food packaging to sweet wrappers, make sure you carry your own bin bag with you to ensure you do the right thing.

Don’t pollute

Leaving a hire car’s engine running, washing your hair with shampoo in a river or making too much noise after dark, pollution comes in many forms so just make sure you think and act responsibly before you contemplate further polluting the environment.

A man swimming in the polluted river


Nature conservation and social community projects all present a worthwhile means of helping out whilst travelling abroad and if you can sign up for just a few hours you’ll no doubt benefit just as richly as the environment that you’re staying in. Volunteer projects offer travellers the chance to really make a difference in resort and if you’re hoping to experience a side to life that most casual tourists rarely get to see then why not consider signing up and doing your bit at the same time.

Smiling kids in the Philippines

Be responsible

Respecting different cultures and customs when visiting a new country is definitely something to be mindful of and if you’re hoping to travel responsibly then learning a few choice local words and phrases always unlocks more doors than you might initially expect. Being responsible with your money, your intake and your attitude is the best means of presenting yourself and fellow travellers in the best light possible, and if you’re hoping to be well received with a warm welcome then be prepared to smile and embrace the new as you get to experience life as a responsible traveller.