Our world is choking in garbage, coral reefs are dying, the air is more polluted than ever – sad but true. Still, the message is: Don’t despair. Now it’s time to take action. Do something for yourself, your children and your environment. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything anymore. On the contrary: the environment can be protected and saved all over the world. Something can be done everywhere. In the following blog article, we have compiled some tips on how you can contribute to a cleaner environment both at home and while traveling!
Collecting trash while Kayaking
Of course, you don’t want to spend 24/7 exclusively collecting trash when you’re traveling. But what if you simply combine your leisure activity with a bit of environmental protection? GreenKayak, for example, rents out kayaks. If you collect trash from the water during your kayak tour and share it on social media, you don’t have to pay a dime for the kayak. And by the way, you’ve also done something good for your environment. You can now book your Greenkayak in five different European countries, including Sweden, Ireland and Germany.
Cleanups und Plogging
Another way to integrate litter picking into your free time is plogging. The word is made up of the words “plocka” (Swedish for picking) and “jogging” and describes a still young trend sport in which you get your body and the environment in shape at the same time. So the next time you go running in the great outdoors, take along a trash bag and maybe some gloves for hygienic reasons. However, make sure to take a sturdy bag so you don’t involuntarily lose what you’ve collected along the way.
Nowadays, there are even real (plogging) events where you can clean up the environment together with many other people – while jogging or just like that. On World Cleanup Day, for example, huge trash collection campaigns have been taking place in over 160 countries worldwide since 2008. In 2021, you can once again set an example for a clean, healthy and plastic-free environment: World Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, September 18. Here you can find a Cleanup near you and join in.
“You should, of course, take care to protect yourself from litter (syringes, condoms, etc.). But the greater the awareness of how many bathing slippers, lids of PET bottles or small things lay on the banks of the river. The river in El Salvador flows directly into the sea, which means that this was everything the sea washed up. So by all means, on your next beach vacation, wherever you are, just pick up whatever trash you find.”Jule from socialbnb, was part of a cleanup in El Salvador
…and maybe join a cleanup with many other people. Then the fun and success factor is even higher!
Even when you stay overnight, there are a lot of factors you can pay attention to in order to make a positive contribution to the environment. If you book a hotel, you can look for a certificate for environmental friendliness. It’s also best to eat locally and seasonally, because this way you contribute to local products and get to know the country and its people at the same time.
Worldwide, there are also more and more eco- or green hotels and providers that focus on sustainable tourism – including socialbnb. Here you will find a lot of accommodations that are actively committed to environmental protection (or animal welfare, education, etc.). Also, many eco lodges with a purely environmental focus are offered at socialbnb. A great example of eco lodging is Tinos Ecolodge in Greece or Eco Caminhos in Brazil.
Pack your bag environmentally friendly
When you pack your suitcase for your next trip, you can already do something for the environment here. Sounds strange, but it’s true and super easy. You can start by packing a jute bag instead of a plastic bag for dirty laundry or shoes. In addition, you can also take environmentally conscious care products such as solid shampoo or a wooden toothbrush with you on your trip. The former is much easier, especially if you are traveling by plane, also because of the problem with liquids anyway.
For travel-sized liquid skincare items, you can use refillable packaging or simply refill the ones you already have. And last but not least: Pack your backpack or suitcase minimalistically! Not only because you’ll have less to lug around: less weight means less weight on the plane. And less weight means less kerosene is consumed and in the end less CO2 is blown into the air.
Less sunscreen for brighter corals
Sunscreen is important, that’s clear. However, the problem in many sunscreens are the ingredients. These trigger coral bleaching; waters are generally more polluted by the UV filters. Marine life absorbs substances contained in them. Once in the body, they damage the animals’ DNA or, like false hormones, disrupt reproduction and growth.
Therefore, but now to completely abandon sunscreen, is also not an option. However, there are some alternatives. If you still want to use sunscreen, don’t put it on right before you go swimming. Also, look at the ingredients when you buy it. Check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site for a list of all environmentally harmful substances. Otherwise, try to avoid the sun at its most intense and find a shady spot. If you still want to go snorkeling, wear a T-shirt to protect yourself from the sun. There are even manufacturers who offer special UV-protective clothing that keeps the sun out better.
If you want to learn more about the Zero Waste lifestyle, you can find more exciting articles on this blog – for example here! Do you have any other tips, experiences or topics? Then write us an email or contact us via Instagram!