Alright, we’ve all been there. Being eco-friendly and sustainable while travelling is often the least thing you think of. It’s a new country, you don’t know the stores, you’re on budget and you buy anything that’s convenient. And that’s fine! But there’s always some room for improvement. That’s why you’re invited to take a journey through this post 🙂
- Switch from planes to trains whenever it’s possible. It takes a lot more time to get to your destination, but it’s way more eco-friendly. Just a single round trip from London to Keflavik produces around 0.767t of CO2 per passenger, whereas the maximum amount of CO2 a person should produce per year in order to halt climate change is 0,6t. It’s obvious that it’s impossible to go by train to Iceland, but think of your other travels and where you could improve.
- Try to avoid sleeping in hotels. But if you can’t resist such convenience, try to keep the ‘Do not disturb’ sign on your door during your entire stay. It’ll prevent unneccessary cleaning up and changing towels, which lead to using less water and chemicals.
- If you plan to buy tours, try to choose a travel agency that’s eco-friendly and really cares about the environment. Unfortunately most of such companies are focused on the profits, which means they might not care about such things like how much CO2 their cars produce – for example.
- Bringing your lunch boxes and a reusable water bottle is great! You can find a bunch of such in popular online shops. The boxes keep your sandwiches fresh and you can always pack the leftovers you didn’t eat at that restaurant. And you can safely drink the Icelandic tap water, just make sure it’s cold!
- Avoid ‘traditional’ food that consist of meat. Icelanders know well that tourists are intrigued by things like puffin, whale or shark meat. But it’s no longer eaten by the natives. These animals need to be under protection because there’s not much of them. Keep in mind that oceans are polluted with micro plastic, which would eventually end up in your guts as well.
- Using such apps and websites as Happy Cow while researching your restaurants is a great option! It contains information about vegan and vegetarian places all over the world. Thanks to that you can still eat traditional food and enjoy it with no harm.
- While grocery shopping, try to choose food that’s not wrapped up in plastic. Unfortunately it’s very hard in Iceland but at such stores like Krónan you can unpack your tomatoes right after you buy them and throw the packaging into a recycling bin. Also – bring your tote bag! It takes very little space in a suitcase and it prevents from getting unneccessary plastic bags.
- Do not litter and try to sort your waste if you have the possibility.
- Respect the signs while exploring the nature and don’t go outside the marked paths. Everyone wants to have that perfect instagram photo but keep in mind that the paths are marked for a reason – for your safety, too. A pro-tip: you can bring a small bag and pick up any trash you spot along your hike 🙂
- And last but not least… Choose your souvenirs wisely. Most of them are made in China and they’re nowhere near to be a product of Iceland. Check where an item is made; you want something that’s truly local and something that is going to be useful and will last long.
It takes a while to adapt these tips into your life. Don’t get discouraged and don’t try all of them at once! A smallest effort counts and helps to keep our planet alive. It’s wonderful that you made it through this post and let’s keep fingers crossed for you on your next adventure 🙂