With globe-shaking activists like Greta Thunberg travelling from one continent to another by solar-powered yacht to cut back on air-traffic carbon emissions, and costs of travel ever-increasing, even the experienced traveller may wonder where to start when it comes to making meaningful headway into eco-friendly, economic vacationing. Choosing what to pack, where to go and how to plan your trip can be overwhelming so, leading up to one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, we set out to help you lighten your footprint, your bag and your budget in this eco-travel tip list.
Eco- Activities 101
From your daily transport to the activities you choose, you can have family fun AND keep the planet, our wildlife and your wallet happy.
- Think local, outdoors and homemade. Look for walking trails, pack a picnic, shop at a market and visit family-owned restaurants and attractions. If you enjoy looking after our planet there’s a good chance you will enjoy authentic, local attractions and cuisine. Taking a step away from the typical tourist locations can offer an entirely different experience of an area and leave you with new perspectives, lower expenses and a thriving community.
- While many countries advertise exciting animal encounters, these experiences are often unethical attractions guised under the banners of ‘education’, ‘conservation’ or simply ‘harmless’ memories. Sadly, otherwise well-meaning tourists can be charmed by the prospect of an amazing image. Following the World Animal Protection Wildlife Selfie Code, you can make the right choices when deciding on wildlife-encounters: "Only take photos if you’re a safe distance from an animal, they can move freely, and they’re in their natural home" they advise. Always do your research before booking on any animal-related tour or attraction; just because it has ‘sanctuary’ in its name doesn’t mean they’re animal-friendly.
- Travelling to and from your daily adventures can be made into a family-affair. Look for walking tours, hire bicycles to wonder the streets, and jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus to cut down and share the load of your carbon emissions for the day.
- Expanding the world of sustainable travel can be powerfully influenced by us – the travellers. The World Travel and Tourism Council says "providing tour operators and destinations with feedback is the number one way travellers can ask for the change they would like to see." They recommend leaving positive reviews when something is done right or contacting places via social media beforehand to check out their eco-credentials. "If a travel provider is not providing you with sustainable options" they say, "demand to know why."
Packing tips to lighten your load
Packing your suitcase can be one of the most stressful parts of a holiday. You want to pack a bit of everything, “just in case”, but you also don’t want to be lugging a boot-full of clothes on and off planes, up and down mountains, or in and out of cars. Whether it is a backpack for a berg adventure or an overseas suitcase, packing light lowers your carbon footprint (less weight on a plane means less carbon output) and eases your stress (and your back!).
Thankfully Boody is all about lightening your life to help you breathe easier, so some ideas to help you here came naturally to us:
- Choose light clothes that fold flat or better – roll up small. Natural fabric, such as bamboo, is lighter and folds down to an insignificant size, taking up far less space and lowering your bag weight!
- Choose everyday basics in neutral palettes that can mix and match, while taking a few bright accessories to bring your holiday wardrobe to life. Packing the essentials like black tights, neutral T-shirts and stylish bodysuits make the perfect foundation for all outfits. (Check out our awesome basics range to get an idea of the fashionable simplicity we’re talking about).
- Southern Hemisphere Decembers sing of beautiful hot days and clear blue skies, while a White Christmas in the North can leave you freezing outside and toasty warm indoors. Thankfully, if you keep the first tip in mind and pack natural fibres, you’re likely to breathe easy regardless of where you go this festive season. Bamboo fabric is not only anti-bacterial, moisture-wicking and anti-odour for those hot days but have the incredible thermo-regulating property that keeps you warm in cold weather and cool in the summer heat.
- Comfort and ease are what a holiday is all about, and NO ONE wants to be ironing clothes during their down time. We hate to brag, but once again bamboo wins the travel category with its natural ability to hold the creases at bay!
- Eco-packing goes beyond clothes, and finding sustainable toiletries is a great way to do your bit daily for our planet. Make sure you grab your bamboo toothbrush, biodegradable floss and natural toothpaste for your trip (We LOVE the Sweet Cinnamon toothpaste from a new local oral care brand, WooBamboo! available online at Loved by Nature & at selected Clicks & Dis-Chem stores), and get the kids involved with natural hair products like Rock The Locks to make it a family affair and keep microplastics and harmful chemicals out of your daily routine.
Two of our Boody fans reiterated these tips in their real-life travel experiences and we loved what they had to say:
Debi’s Italian holiday to remember:
"Being on the larger side and requiring a larger size, it is not always comfortable to wear a pair of tights. Boody's smooth, silky soft bamboo fabric made all the difference. The Tuscany heat exposed my body to temperatures I was not used to. I had luckily relied on Boody to keep the sweat off and the breathable fabric was a lifesaver. Never mind the odourless t-shirts! Being a female, one of the best things was that none of my Boody garments needed ironing!”
Charlene breathed easy on her hiking trip: “Boody is versatile and very easily matched amongst your packed items. Boody really made it easy for me to pack up for the weekend and travel lightly. A few tricks for those traveling - roll up your Boody items really tight (they're super light and won't weigh you down) and they don't get creased! More space and a lighter bag with loads of options due to neutral colours.
With the holiday season fast approaching, eco-travel requires planning, planning, planning! So, get together as a family, sit around the dinner table and put pen to paper to outline your sustainable itinerary this December. Share your ideas, contact travel agencies and get creative. There is so much you can do to make your trip eco-friendly and economic.