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Travel Responsibly: 5 Eco-Friendly Backpacking Tips to Remember

May 24, 2016 10:19 PM EDT

Some people regard backpacking as the greatest adventure in a lifetime. It can be done in transcendental solitude or with the comforts of friends. There are many places to visit and wide array of natural wonders to adore.

However, many people gain their enjoyment at the expense of our environment. Here are five simple tips to make your travels eco-friendly and less destructive for the environment.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint


Backpacking is more adventurous when done using public transportation, instead of using a private ride. You can meet strangers who shares same interests and views. You can also enjoy each place you visit in every stop. Walking and renting a bike should also be considered if you are traveling short distance. Enjoy every scenic view and calm breeze nature has to offer in every step or pedal you take.

Lessen Your Leftover Trash


One of the major problems of popular tourist spots is the trash and waste left by countless tourists. Travelers can significantly lessen the waste you produce during a trip if you use refillable aluminum bottles or glass bottles, instead of those disposable plastic bottles. By refilling your aluminum bottles in every stop, you can also reduce your expenses. Reusable bags can also greatly help in reducing waste. When you have reusable bags with you, the use of plastic bags during shopping can be reduced. It can also be used to store other litters until you find a garbage bin.

Eco-Friendly Washing

If you are staying at a hostel and is planning to use the washing machine, wait till you have a full load. It can considerably reduce the amount of energy and water spent during washing. Xpatmatt also recommends asking fellow backpacker to share in washing if you don't have full load. It is also advisable to take short showers during the trip, two minutes max, in order to conserve water.

Reduce and Reuse Maps and Brochures


Backpackers oftentimes have their own maps. However, some travelers prefer to buy their map on the spot and even take lots of brochures then just disregard it after the trip. If you are staying at hotels, you can just borrow brochures and read it there. By doing so, you reduce you paper waste and even extra package. Gomio recommends that you can also consider using just one map or brochure if you are in a large group. Assign one of your friends to be the map leader. If you are done with your trip, you can always lend or give your map to other travelers.

Act Responsibly


The key to having an eco-friendly backpacking experience is to act responsibly. Don't be afraid to act if you saw other travelers littering or destroying the environment. Simple acts such as picking up waste left by other backpackers or having conversations with the local can make your travels both enjoyable and fulfilling.

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