Think of mosquitoes. Yes, you can be small and still have a BIG impact…! If you can read that post, you can make the world a better place. I agree, maybe not on a huge scale. I am not talking about ending violence, poverty or animal cruelty. And this is not a post to give lessons: I am far from being perfect with my habits. It’s an article to highlight small efforts in our lives – and communicating about them to inspire others – can help.
Right now, that’s me being small and hopefully having an impact.
There are many decisions you can make in your life for sustainability, including equity and preserving the environment, just to name a few.
My little everyday actions:
- I try to reduce my plastic consumption. I refuse single-use items such as plastic bags and straws. I never leave home without my reusable water bottle. I have stopped using plastic films in the kitchen. I invested in a Soda Stream machine to enjoy fizzy drinks without plastic bottles. I avoid gadgets that are not useful. I use bar shampoo, bar conditioner, bar soap and bar deodorant. The list is long, but that’s just to start inspiring you.
- I try to save paper. At work, I changed my printer set up to multipage and double-sided printing. Following my request, we now have a printing tray with scrap paper. At home, I recycle paper by always using the back of envelopes or other documents I receive.
- I recycle my rubbish. It’s not that hard to separate plastic and cardboard from the rest of the waste.
- I have reduced my meat and dairy consumption: plant-based products that replace meat are not only for vegans and vegetarians.
My little actions as a tourist:
- I keep my little everyday habits from above when I’m on holidays. And I use a water filter if needed to avoid buying plastic bottles. It’s not that hard to find plastic alternatives for travellers.
- I participate in the local economy. I try to pick local hotels and local restaurants that will benefit the local community. Big chains and all-inclusive holidays may be easier to organise, but most of them will not support the locals that much. I always try to think about the ethical way to visit a place. I am also careful about the souvenirs I buy.
- I travel to local destinations. It doesn’t mean I never take a plane, but I don’t do it as much as I wished for environmental reasons.
- I favour ecotourism operators who show respect for their environment, care for locals and develop tourism with sustainability in mind.
- I avoid places affected by over-tourism or choose to visit them during the low season.
- I collect rubbish – even when they are not mine. I don’t do that all the time; it would be too much of a sacrifice. But when I see a bottle, a can or some other rubbish in a place I’m visiting, I pick it up. It takes me a few seconds only. It’s a better way and a better feeling than just whining about it. Tourism has an adverse impact on the environment, and this is my way of minimising my impact.
I hope some of these little things can inspire you.