Where else could we go?
Unfortunately, I’m not talking travel destinations. I mean if Earth became uninhabitable. Every human’s home. Where else would we go?
Space? “I want to go to there.” The stars and view, our delicious planet from above…definitely do not want to live there though. I’ve read + seen enough sci-fi to imagine that it has nothing on Earth.
This giant, looming question is the reason I think twice about everything. Especially the waste I make and the way I spend. Nature (so unique to our planet) makes me want to go big. But, right now, given our linear economy of consumption and production, what can we do?
Tiny changes in action and mindset, multiplied by millions – it adds up. Big time.
Most of my trips involve nature. This travel is inherently amazing, eye-opening, inspiring and … not green.
You have to get there somehow – carbon emitting trains, planes or automobiles. But, if you think of it that way, you’d never leave your house. To me, seeing new places is the reason I want to make changes and inspire others to do so too.
So … small (yet powerful) ways to be sustainable while exploring (or anytime really):
+ Consider your airline. Contrary to what you would think, budget airlines tend to be more eco-friendly. They typically fill their flights and have younger, more fuel-efficient fleets. They also waste less by not giving out free snacks and drinks.
+ Be prepared. Bring your own water bottle, straw, utensils, jar, shopping bags, toiletries, snacks, etc. Be ready when thirst or hanger strikes. I’ve had lots of luck with kind businesses (and even airport McDonald’s) refiling my water bottle. Assume you’ll be given a straw and warmly preempt that.
+ Don’t touch plane stuff. Kindly ask staff to use your bottle instead of a cup. To avoid plastic-wrapped items (headphones, blanket, food) I always bring a snack, dress warmly, and wear my Turkish towel as a scarf or pack it in my backpack (hello, blanket).
+ Once there, walk everywhere. Take bikes or public transportation when too far.
+ Leave it better than you found it. Pick up trash, especially at water ways and nature spots, donate your time.
+ Shop local. Empower locals and communities by shopping from artisans, bodegas/corner stores and small businesses vs. chains.
What would you add to this list? Can you apply any of the above to your everyday routine? What motivates you to implement changes?
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