Since you’re here at ASAI.com, we’re going to assume a couple of things: first, that you like exploring new places and having an authentic experience wherever you go. Second, that minimising your environmental impact is important to you. Right? So, with that in mind, let’s explore a few ways to combine your passions:
Consider the way you’re going to travel and where possible, cut your emissions. Go by train or boat, or if you’re flying, try to opt for an airline that lets you offset your miles or that uses sustainable aviation biofuel—United, Qantas, and KLM do, for example. Try to book non-stop flights; takeoffs and landings are responsible for a large part of a plane’s emissions. When you get where you’re going, use public transport, hire a hybrid car or walk, especially in a city—it’s the best way to get your bearings.
Eco-friendly hotels and resorts are increasingly easy to find and are often fun places to stay because they tend to have approached their design and systems with creativity and love. From city hostels to luxury island resorts, there are plenty of places doing at least a little something to reduce their impact or have a positive effect on the environment, from reducing plastic, to recycling and using clean power. Seek them out.
We know you know this, but plastic straws are a big problem. So, pack a stainless steel one—you can order them online these days and some supermarkets carry them too. Alternatively, of course, you can just refuse them when you’re grabbing your iced coffee or tasty cocktail. On that note, it’s good to know how to say “I don’t need a straw” in the local language. For example, in Bangkok, you can say: “Mai ow lod”. For extra points, add a nice cheerful “khrap” on the end if you’re a guy or “kaa” if you’re a woman—it makes it more polite. Take your plastic reduction to the next level and pack a cloth tote bag for when you’re souvenir shopping. Then you can say “Mai sai toong kaa/khrap”, which means “don’t put it in a (plastic) bag.”
Being sustainable isn’t just about being green; it’s about doing your bit to support the ecosystem you’re in. Every meal you eat, drink you sip and souvenir you buy has an impact on your destination, so be mindful about where your money goes and what you’re supporting. And, if you’re looking for activities, get involved in local projects and leave your vacation destination a little better than you found it. These are just little things, but even small changes in our habits can lead to big changes in the world.