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.SaveSave

I hope some of these little things can inspire you.

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  1. mark

    Not all people are as dedicated to clean and green world. Good on you i think its great the world need’s more people like you. I bet there is not many of us out there who pick up other people’s rubbish. We recycle when we can and try not litter it makes the world more sustainable

    1. Eloise

      Thanks, Mark! It’s really easy to sometimes pick up others rubbish. It’s not a daily dedication… It only takes a few minutes at the beach to make a difference, or a few bends during a hike. Not littering in the first place is, of course, extremely important and it would be amazing if everybody was doing it! 🙂

  2. Hi Eloise – great post about minimising our environmental impact where we can, as travelers. I lived in Austria a couple of years ago and we had 7 different recycle bins! 7! Now I can’t say that I have kept up with all 7 – but more that I like to think in Australia we have co-mingled recycling so we can recycle a lot in the same bin and it is separated somewhere else. Living in that environment definitely made me more aware of what I was using and throwing away! Good luck on the ‘rubbish page’ and hopefully you’ll get a lot of support behind you.

    1. Eloise

      7?! Wow! That’s a real effort!!! Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂

  3. Jon

    So much rubbish over here in Southeast Asia, definitely makes you feel like no matter what you do it won’t change until local people start actually caring about it.

    1. Eloise

      I know the feeling, Jon. I have the hope that small actions could also have an impact on local people…!

  4. Sharon

    Thanks for the reminder that little actions can make a big difference!

  5. Portia @ Migrant Muse

    Great actions on what we can do to help out our communities and the planet 🙂 I think this info applies to everyone as we could all use a little reminder sometimes to be more conscious of what we’re throwing away. I also aim to stay at places rented out by locals or B&B’s over big name hotels. It definitely makes the experience more rewarding and real. Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Eloise

      Thank you, Portia. It’s true that staying at local places is soooo rewarding in terms of experience… In this end, it’s actually not really an effort 😀 (well, except during trip planning)

  6. jason

    Thank you for this super positive article. I like the idea behind this. Indeed through little things we do make a change in the world we live in. The left me thinking how conscious I have been as a local in my town and a tourist in my travels. True enough to say that the positive change we diligently do, can serve example to the people that surround us.

    1. Eloise

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Jason 🙂

  7. melody pittman

    Nice to know I am definitely doing my part, too. You are right, we can all make a difference and the little things add up and end up big things. I’ve now been recycling for 25 years, everything at my house including clothing and toys, etc. I cannot imagine leading a life where all my waste doesn’t get put to some “other” use that ends ups a plus in some wa or fashion. Thanks for sharing this and maybe opening the eyes of others.

    1. Eloise

      That’s awesome, Melody. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Kevin Wagar

    Amazing job encouraging everyone to do their part, and to recognize that even the small contributions matter!

    1. Eloise

      Thank you, Kevin! Indeed, every little bit helps 🙂

  9. shere

    totally agree!! At work I’m a “green ambassador” and I do things like turning off lights when they are not in use and remind others to do so as well. I want to create a vegetable garden but unfortunately I haven’t got a spot to do so yet 🙂

    1. Eloise

      Thank you, Shere. I hope you’ll find a spot for your vegetable garden. Good on you to remind others at work. I’ve seen that often, it’s not that people don’t want to do the small actions but they don’t know or forget…

  10. Himanshu

    Loved it in totality. Very optimistic and practical.
    Yes, travellers have the potential to change the world.
    Keep posting and soon be full time traveller. 🙂

    1. Eloise

      Thank you, Himanshu. But no objective to be a full-time traveller for me at the moment 😉

  11. Jessica

    Everything starts from small things. I adore your little actions and I am sure those will impact big sooner or later.

    1. Eloise

      Thank you for your kind words, Jessica.

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