Top 20 Tips on How to be a Green Traveller
You can make a difference to leave a lighter footprint while travelling
You’re on holidays, exploring the beautiful state of Victoria and it is easy to forget about being kind to the planet when you have 3 Melbourne coffee houses to try, penguins to see and a tram ride lined up.
But as an individual you can make a difference to leave a lighter footprint while travelling. All that is required is an effort to protect and preserve the environment of where you are, and honestly, it is easier than you think. Here are some of our favourite top 20 tips for green travellers.
- Green before you Go: Before leaving on your holiday, make sure you have left your home “turned off”. Make sure you have turned off and unplugged unnecessary items such as the toaster, TV, DVD player, computers and lamps. Check your home’s thermostat and make sure it is either turned off or set to “vacation / holiday” mode.
- Planning: When planning your holiday, try to choose direct flights and cut down the amount of air travel you plan to do. Are there other alternatives such as trains or buses? Also select the carbon offset option when buying flights.
- Pack Light: When you are getting ready to go, make sure you pack less than you would think! This saves on weight on your plane, plus weight when you have to lug your bag around. Unpack anything new you have bought at home and recycle the packaging before you leave.
- Eco Hotels and Accommodation: When you are booking your accommodation, search around for the eco options. Many hotels have green credentials, so find the best ones and book them. Look for carbon offsets, reduced linen services, and double glazed windows, solar power, green energy usage and even participation in environmental initiatives.
- Use Public Transport: Avoid hiring a car and try using the public transport services available. You will see Melbourne in a whole new light if you are jumping from our trams to trains. With an easy to use ticket system, Melbourne and the rest of Victoria is widely accessible by public transport. There is nothing like the feeling of jumping onto the tram to go from the city to St Kilda through the tree lined avenues!
- Walk: Obviously if you want to see more and get a real feel for a place, you have to walk around it. Plus it is free and means you can save some money for bigger holiday splurges! Walking the city blocks is a fun way to find hidden treasures and the much loved “secret cafes” of Melbourne. Give it a go!
- Hire Hybrids: If you do plan on hiring a car, try to find a hybrid option. Many car rental companies offer hybrid options and if not, they all will offer carbon offsets. Take up this option if you are unable to afford the hybrid options.
- Unplug it! When you get into your accommodation, try unplugging unnecessary lamps and the clock radio. If you are not going to use it, leave it off. Whenever you leave your room, make sure you also unplug any phone or computer charges you have brought with you. Also, switch the lights off too!
- Do Not Disturb: Another tip is to hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. This means you will have to keep your room tidy and hang your own towels up. Most cleaning services changes your sheets and towels daily but you can opt out of this when you check in. Just ask the front desk upon arrival.
- Bring your own Toiletries: It takes a lot of energy to produce those mini bottles of shampoo and conditioners and the bottle are not generally recyclable. A simple solution is to bring your own! If shampoo and conditioner bottles are just too big for your backpack, consider shampoo bars. They are like soap but are shampoo! They are easy to pack and reduce waste!
- Reduce Waste: When packing your bag, bring 1 reusable bag with you. A thin simple bag that you can take to the shops, keep in your daypack to put extra purchases in and so you can happily refuse any plastic bags at the shops!
- Reusable Water Bottle: This is a must have for every traveller! Bring your own water bottle and fill them up before you head out for the day. Many restaurants and cafes will refill them for free and it will save you money and also reduce the amount of plastic bottles you buy.
- Recycle: You may be on holidays but you can still recycle. If you have extra recyclable packages or bottles in your hotel room, ring and ask the reception for recycling options. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need the service.
- Use Less Water: In Victoria we are used to our water restrictions and understand shorter showers are better. By reducing your showering time to 8 minutes can save huge amounts of water. Most hotels also have installed low flow shower heads which use 6 – 7 litres per minute as opposed to standard showerheads which use 15 – 25 litres per minute!
- Vegetarian Options: When eating out, try a few vegetarian meals and even some vegan options. Reducing the amount of meat you consume each day makes a huge impact. Victoria has a wonderful selection of organic farms and food producers, so give them a go!
- BYO Cup: They don’t call Melbourne a coffee capital for nothing! If you plan on staying and trying a lot of coffee while here, why not invest in a BYO cup. They are reusable coffee cups that are light weight and made of silicon. They are also much loved and usually will result in a discount on your coffee purchase. They are sold at most cafes in Melbourne city.
- Buy Local: Victoria is a hub of good food and wine, so support out local industries! Try a Yarra Valley wine with some locally produced organic cheese. Try to experience the abundance of produce while here.
- Don’t Litter: Treat the places you visit as if it is your own backyard. Don’t litter or leave cigarette butts on the ground. There are many rubbish bins and cigarette bins available and we urge you to be mindful of your habits. Our fragile eco systems can only survive if we protect them.
- Be Kind and Considerate: Victoria is a beautiful region with a vast array of flora and fauna. Be careful not to hurt or damage the areas you are visiting, and be kind to the animals you may meet. Avoid feeding birds and encouraging wild animals with food. Feeding the wild animals can endanger them and cause them to become pests. They are also prone to illness from food such as chips, biscuits and bread. Read and heed the signs about not feeding animals.
- Enjoy yourself! Being green is also being happy! If you have a great time in our city, spread the word. Let people know about the local organic foods, the wonderful clean cities and the nice people you meet.