Read these 14 Good Green Baggage Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Green Travel tips and hundreds of other topics.
Research the main environmental and conservation issues in your country of destination. It may, for example, be useful to know that the country has been through a heat wave. You are then more likely to be sensitive to your water consumption. Knowing that a certain species is in danger may prompt you to visit a nature reserve where that animal can be found. Your visit would contribute to supporting that species.
Oneworld.net provides updates on human rights and conservation issues worldwide. It also lists volunteering opportunties.
While many ecotourists wouldn't dream of buying anything made from ivory, they may see nothing wrong in buying a coral necklace or a jar of caviar. It's difficult for a layperson to keep up with what's endangered and what's not. The World Wildlife Fund has simplified the task with their Souvenir Action Alert. The following may be less well-known mistakes than buying crocodile skin bags and ivory statues:
According Popular Mechanics, the sun provides enough energy to power everything on earth 1500 times over; It's just a question of learning how to direct that energy. All of these items can run on photovoltaic, fume-free cells and are available in manysporting good stores:
Fear of contracting West Nile Virus provides even more incentive to buy powerful insect repellents. During the last few decades, DEET was marketed as the most effective ingredient in mosquito repellents. However, prolonged exposure to DEET may be harmful to a child's developing brain. Products containing lemon eucalyptus have been proven to work for about four hours, without any danger to human health.
Considering that it takes about 66,000 gallons of water to produce one newspaper, recycling should be an obligation, not an option. You can use pictures and captions from your brochures in the letters that you send home. This way you deliver the details of your trips without having to spend on new postcards and you save some paper. You can also make montages to slip into a photo album.
You can have the wipes without the harsh chemicals by making your own. Cut a roll of quilted paper towel (from recycled material) in two and place one half in a snug fitting spill-proof tupperware container. Mix together equal parts of vinegar and water and pour enough over the towlettes to saturate them.
Gel made from the thick leaves of the aloe vera plant has been used for centuries to treat cuts, burns and dry skin conditions such as eczema. Some studies suggest that it has mild antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. Just remember, a bottle of fresh gel will need to stay cold, so you'll need to have access to a fridge or cooler while you're traveling. Otherwise, you can opt for aloe vera based creams, but they are generally diluted with other products.
There have been reports of birds and marine life ingesting or being strangled by stray plastic bags. Carry a cloth bag for shopping so you won't need to take plastic ones from stores. The production of paper bags is more energy-intensive, but plastic bags take longer to break down. Health food outlets often favour hemp bags because hemp is stronger than cotton but doesn't depend on pesticides for optimal growth.
According to a World Bank Report, municipalities in developing countries have to spend up to 50 percent of their budget to cope with waste management, which also explains why some waste is not even collected. Here are some tips to cutting the clutter when traveling, and helping to limit the waste management costs in developing countries:
While you don't need to look for the most expensive items, you'll save money and the environment if you buy good-quality sturdy bags with plenty of trips left in them. When choosing a bag, keep the following in mind: