HI Hostels Blog

Celebrating Earth Month: Sustainable Travel Tips for Conscious Adventurers

As April unfolds, so does Earth Month—a time when the global community comes together to celebrate and advocate for environmental protection and sustainability. At HI Hostels, we believe in the power of travel to inspire change, and promote responsible stewardship of our planet. In honour of Earth Month, we’re sharing some valuable tips for conscious adventurers seeking to minimise their footprint while exploring the world.

1. Choose Sustainable Accommodation

When planning your next adventure, opt for eco-friendly accommodations like HI Hostels. Our hostels are committed to sustainability, with initiatives ranging from energy-efficient practices to waste reduction strategies. You can find a list of some of our most eco-friendly hostels (the ones that have their HI Q&S certification) here

2. Pack Light and Smart

Travelling light not only makes your journey more convenient but also reduces carbon emissions associated with transportation. Pack only what you need, and choose durable, eco-friendly gear made from sustainable materials. Even better: buy all your travelling equipment second hand! It’s incredibly easy to do so nowadays thanks to apps and websites such as eBay, Vinted or even Facebook Marketplace. You can even ask around to borrow items from friends and family or keep an eye out in your local charity shops. 

3. Embrace Eco-Friendly Transport

Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing sustainable transportation options whenever possible. Opt for boats, trains and buses, cycling, or walking to explore your destination, or consider carpooling with fellow travellers to reduce emissions. Busbud is your go-to place for affordable and convenient ground transportation options. With access to over 80 countries, you can easily book bus and train tickets in your preferred language, pay using your own currency, and explore the world sustainably. HI members receive 10% discount with an exclusive code. Simply add the code at the check out and enjoy the ride! Buy a HI membership HERE to receive the code.

If you’re in the city, consider public transport before booking taxis or hiring a car. If flying truly is unavoidable, offset your carbon footprint and try to book as few flights as possible. Using websites such as Kiwi, that shows you options for flights between two “geographical zones” or “countries” rather than 2 towns, can give you more (and sometimes cheaper) options that you can then complement with land transport to get to your exact destination. 

4. Support Local Communities

One of the most rewarding aspects of travel is connecting with locals and their culture. Support local businesses, artisans, and eateries to contribute to the socio-economic development of the destinations you visit. By purchasing locally made products or locally produced food and dining at family-owned restaurants, you empower communities and reduce the environmental impact of long-distance supply chains.

5. Leave-No-Trace

Respect the natural environment: take only photos and memories away with you and leave nothing but footprints behind. If you have waste, dispose of it responsibly (find out from locals what and where you can recycle / compost), minimize noise pollution, and refrain from disturbing wildlife. Leave natural and cultural landmarks undisturbed for future generations to enjoy.

6. Go Zero Waste

Reduce your impact by adopting zero waste practices during your travels. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it from safe water sources; when these aren’t available, boiling water in hostels is always possible and safe! Bring your own cutlery set and refuse straws to minimize plastic waste. Pack snacks and meals in reusable containers to avoid single-use packaging, and compost organic waste whenever possible. Choose products with minimal packaging or opt for package-free alternatives to reduce waste generation – local markets usually have many more options of unpackaged and unprocessed foods to choose from. Find out how to say : “I don’t need a plastic bag / straw thank you” and “can you put that in here / my own container please?” in the local language – hostel staff should be able to help you out!

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