Traveling Sustainably is Easy

Preparing for spring break with eco-friendly travel essentials


According to WasteAdvantage magazine, every flight, the standard passenger produces an average of 3.15 pounds of waste before leaving the aircraft and as air traffic increases, so does the amount of waste produced.

Maggie Seidel, Features Editor

With the excitement of spring break building, many students prepare to embark on travel expeditions near and far from home. While traveling, it is necessary to focus your efforts on incorporating sustainable practices to promote healthy ecotourism. This can be a challenging feat, but there are a few simple ways to travel sustainably. 

According to Merriam-Webster, ecotourism is defined as  “the practice of touring natural habitats in a manner meant to minimize ecological impact.” Below are a few steps that are conducive to traveling more sustainably.  

Firstly, preparation is key as it reduces the likelihood that you may need to purchase single-use plastic while traveling. For example, try packing reusable items such as water bottles, straws, and utensils. They are not only more convenient and inexpensive but also they are more sustainable. These items can be found at local grocery stores such as Target, and online on websites including Amazon. 

Additionally, instead of purchasing specific travel size products, purchase travel-size containers that can be reused on multiple occasions. It is also important to reduce plastic usage. There are plastic bag alternatives on Amazon that are reusable. Personally, I have found that their silicone bags are very useful. 

For those who are traveling to warmer seaboard destinations, sunscreen is a necessity. It is imperative, however, to look for key ingredients in the sunscreen that can be harmful to the ocean and ocean life. 

According to the Huffington Post, ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offer effective sun protection and are safe for the ocean. It is necessary to beware of oxybenzone and octinoxate, as they are chemicals that harm the ocean and the environment. This harm can include the bleaching of coral reefs and can cause irreversible damage. 

Lastly, it is important to note that any dedicated effort to travel more sustainably is valuable! The overwhelming task of traveling completely “green” can be challenging. Despite this, by following these feasible steps listed above, your efforts can have a lasting impact and become a sustainable habit. In the end, any action taken to be more sustainable is productive in the greater mission of traveling eco-friendly.