These 6 sustainable travel bloggers will inspire better travel practices!

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Sustainable travel might seem to be a bit ‘in fashion’ at the moment - but rightly so! Glaciers are melting, coral reefs are dying, and plastic will soon overtake the population. Sustainability is and should at the heart of everything we do.

Traveling is one of the easiest ways to pollute the planet and leaves a massive carbon footprint. Planes produce a harmful amount of carbon emissions, hotels use gallons and gallons for washing your sheets and towels, maintaining a clean swimming pool uses a ridiculous amount of power and water - and the list goes on. That said, there's no need to stop traveling. All it takes is conscious traveling. Induling in eco-friendly practices can be used to lower your footprint while still being able to enjoy the wonders of the world.

In the spirit of changing wasteful habits and opening our minds to more responsible way of traveling, we've spoken to 6 travel bloggers who center their travel around the art of sustainability. It is no surprise that travel bloggers play a huge role in feeding our wanderlust and following the right ones make a world of a difference, atleast at a subconscious level.

6 Sustainable Travel Bloggers You Ought To Follow Now!

Before we introduce you to 6 eco-friendly sustainable travel bloggers you should follow right away, know that every change begins with a small step. The simple step of consciously following sustainable travel bloggers and reading about green travel is a step in the right direction - something that takes little to no effort and can be done right away.

We hope the advice from these sustainable bloggers educate you, inspire you, and encourage you to leave only green footprints wherever you travel to next.

Stefania | @everysteph

Stefania is a 28-year old from Bologna, a beautiful city in northern Italy. 5 continents and over 35 countries later, she has swam in cenotes in Mexico, become a local at Chiang Mai, Thailand, traversed on an incredible road trip through the Balkans and managed to get lost in the worst part of many cities around the world! “Green is the new black” is her motto. Via her blog and social media handles, she attempts to redefine the stereotype of the eco-traveller. She aims to show the world that sustainable travel can easily go hand in hand with a touch of luxury.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

Sustainable travel to me means traveling while avoiding leaving a negative impact on the people and places I visit, and in fact trying to do the opposite, by leaving a positive impact of some sort on the local community and/or Earth. In my particular case, I always like to remind people that sustainable travel doesn't mean traveling low-budget and uncomfortably, sleeping in tents etc - sustainable travel can be adapted to every budget and travel style.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

I wrote my Master's thesis on the sustainability of the fashion sector, and in that moment I started looking around me and saw so many opportunities for turning my life more sustainable. I had such a huge passion for travel, and when I started traveling long-term and living nomadically it only made sense to apply the same principles to the way I travel.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

  • Look for sustainable accommodation. Nowadays, there are incredible hotels, lodges, and glampings of all kinds and budgets that are certified and/or create programs to help local communities and to protect the land they sit on. Choosing the right accommodation is a simple way to make sure your money goes to the right people.
  • Research the traditions and culture of the place you're visiting before you visit, and make sure to respect them while there. It might seem such a given, but you'd be surprised how many people I see around the world dressed or acting in totally disrespectful ways to the locals!
  • Whenever possible, take public transport rather than taxis. There are many countries in the world where buses and trains work perfectly fine, and many times your feet do too!

Emily & Aaron | @twodustytravelers

Emily and Aaron are lovers of ethical travel and off the beaten path adventures. A registered nurse and a teacher by day, they believe that travel can be a force for good. You're likely to find them road-tripping through a new country, volunteering in support of local communities, and sharing the stories of the locals they meet. They are true blue believers of the fact that the choices one makes - what you pack, where you stay, how you spend your money – have a real impact on the future of your destination. They aim to help others travel in ways that help, not hurt, the astonishing world that we all share.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

To us, sustainable travel means being aware of the consequences you have on the places you visit. We believe that all the choices travelers make – where you stay, what you buy, how you interact with locals – have a big impact over time. As travel becomes exponentially more popular and accessible, tourists have the power to destroy some of the world's most beautiful places. We also have the power to preserve them so that future generations can enjoy them as much as we do.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

We started delving into sustainable travel after participating in a volunteer trip in Tanzania. That experience showed us that volunteerism often causes more harm than good, despite the best intentions. Once we began really looking into the impact that we have on the places we visit, we saw that all aspects of travel have an effect on local communities - especially when they're repeated by millions of tourists each year.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

  • Keep wildlife wild. Steer clear of exploitative animals tours (like riding elephants, swimming with captive dolphins, or petting lions). Enjoy animals in the wild from a respectful distance, or better yet - seek out local animal rescues to visit and support!
  • Pick up after yourself and others. We never leave a beach or campsite without taking some trash with us.
  • Learn about the Indigenous communities wherever you visit. Take your cues from how they treat the land.

Natasha | @lifeinminiaturepictures

Natasha works in International Development with NGOs managing a variety of projects addressing women and youth empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, hygiene, water, and sanitation. Her Instagram feed is a fun mix of her travels and daily life in Sydney.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

To me sustainable travel means travelling in a way that tries to minimise the negative impacts of travel whilst trying to maximise the positive impacts and consciously making choices that can benefit the places we visit. Sustainable travel is not just about the environment and your carbon footprint; it’s travel that is not harmful to the places, people & cultural heritage of where we visit. It’s travel that not only supports the preservation of the environment, local culture and history of the destination for the enjoyment of visitors now & into the future; but most importantly it benefits the local economy & those who live there.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

I work in international development & this naturally impacts the choices I make when I travel. Through my work I have witnessed first hand the impact of climate change in places that are on the ‘frontline’, as well as both the positive & negative impacts of tourism on communities & people. So it is important to me to ensure that my tourism does no harm, is respectful of & considers the culture and natural environment and contributes to the local economy. Tourism has an important role to play in lifting people out of poverty as well as contributing to a more inclusive world that respects cultural diversity.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

  • Eat local - Always try to choose independent locally owned & run restaurants. Not only does this ensure your tourist dollars are staying in the community & supporting local livelihoods but it also likely means less air-miles on your food as you’ll be eating more traditional food that is locally available
  • Sleep Local - choose smaller, independent locally owned & run hotels & accommodation. Not only does this ensure your tourist dollars are staying in the community & supporting local livelihoods but it also often means they are more likely to use local resources & materials & are often more green than those hotels with formal eco credentials because of that.
  • Take a reusable bottle everywhere - we all need water & if you have a reusable bottle with you it means you don’t need to buy water in plastic bottles when you’re travelling. Some places of course, it’s not safe to drink tap water, but a small investment in a water filter bottle like grayl means you can drink the water wherever you go.
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Jules & Christine | @dontforget2move

Jules & Christine met in early 2012 while volunteering at a non-profit in Pisco, Peru. After a brief friendship, their relationship quickly turned more serious and they ended up spending 6 months in Peru volunteering together, building houses that were destroyed by a massive earthquake. They are currently based out of Bali, the US and Australia for part of the year, but constantly taking trips to wherever their work and heart calls. Their goal for the blog - Don't Forget To Move is to uncover the coolest destinations around the world and make a positive impact while traveling.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

Sustainable travel means travel that has minimal impact on the people, environment and animal population of the destinations that you're visiting. It means visiting new destinations and having new experiences that don't negatively impact other communities. By being conscious of your traveling impact you can help support positive economic growth within foreign communities that allows them to prosper.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

As long term travelers and non-profit workers we've seen first hand the impact that unsustainable travel can have on communities. We want to help educate the traveling community about ways to not only travel sustainably, but also positively give back to the community that they're visiting.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

As a sustainable and conscious traveler the biggest way you can make an impact is by deciding where you spend your money. Support destinations, tour operators and experiences that prioritize sustainable and responsible travel. Eat at locally run restaurants, support hotels and other accommodation options that are owned and operated within the community and book tour experiences with local guides that have a better understanding of the environmental impacts of travel. By spending your money on sustainable travel you not only help support the future of travel, but you also send a message to the weider travel community that this is what you want to see them change as well.

Stefan and Maria | @yuppies.on.tour

Stefan and Maria love writing about all things travel on their little passion project - the Yuppies on Tour blog. They believe that magic unfurls when learning about new cultures, exploring remote places and making new friends with people from near and far. Follow them if your love for travel marries with your respect for nature and you'd like to take a move towards sustainable travel.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

Sustainable travel means to rethink certain habits we have when it comes to traveling. To be more aware that we leave a footprint everywhere we go which compiles of consumption (food, resources, items we buy) and thinks we leave behind such as plastic waste. Traveling more sustainable means to reduce consumption and waste as much as possible especially abroad and trying to shift the alternatives to reduce the carbon footprint.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

The situation abroad in some countries is very bad. Especially in countries located at the sea plastic waste is a huge problem. If we can contribute at least a tiny bit of reducing the current situation we are already happy.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

The most impactful thing is to avoid flying. So whenever we can we change to other means of transportation even if it takes longer. In Europe and Germany as our home country we try to take the train whenever possible.

The second most powerful thing is to stay local. Reducing flying but also staying within medium to low distance places is a great way to reduce ones carbon footprint. If you need to fly long distance there are ways as well: fly economy, fly during off-season and offset the CO2 of your journey.

Katie & Ben | @twowanderingsoles

Katie & Ben met on a snowboarding trip when they were 16 years old, got married 9 years later. Shortly after quit their comfortable jobs, booked an absurdly cheap flight to Colombia, and left behind everything that didn’t fit into their backpacks. Their blog - Two Wandering Soles is a fun and inspiring website where they curate content around responsible and adventurous travel. Their focus lies on travel tips and money-saving advice for eco-friendly and sustainable travel on any budget.

What does sustainable travel mean to you?

Oftentimes, people boil “sustainable travel” down to traveling with the environment in mind. But personally, we think it spans much further than that. We think traveling responsibly should also include thinking about your impact on the local community.

When you travel, you inherently make an impact on the place you’re visiting. It’s up to you to make that impact a positive one or a negative one. To be blunt, if you’re not thinking about the type of impact you’re making, it is probably the latter. We’ve certainly been there, and we continue to make mistakes. Our idea of what it is to be a responsible traveler is ever-evolving as we continue to learn and grow.

But when you start seeing what a meaningful positive impact you can make on your travels, you’ll quickly realize it’s well worth the extra effort and planning.

Here are some simple prompts to ask yourself as you plan your trip: Will the money I spend go to locally-run businesses, or is it supporting a giant chain? Am I going to an area that is dealing with a crisis of overtourism? How will my trip impact the environment: will I take public transport, stay at eco-friendly hotels, reduce my own personal waste?

Traveling is a privilege, and as travelers, we believe it is our duty to travel responsibly and think about the footprints we’re leaving behind.

What inspired you to consciously make this switch?

During our first major travels — a 3-month backpacking trip in South America — we saw just how much of a difference we could make in the communities we visited, both positive and negative. When planning a trip into the Bolivian Amazon, we heard horror stories from other backpackers who had booked a cheap lodge and saw them pumping sewage into the jungle, keeping wildlife in captivity, and mistreating their employees. We were on a tight budget but knew we couldn’t knowingly support that type of tourism, so instead, we found a remote lodge run by the indigenous peoples of the area. It was more expensive, but it was well worth the splurge to be able to support a company that was run with the environment and the local people in mind. After that experience, we became a little bit obsessive about looking into the places we were supporting along our travels and always try to be mindful of where our money is going.

What are the 3 simplest things one can do to be a green traveler?

  • Research all tour companies that you plan to support during your travels.Try to support companies that are locally-owned and give back to their community. Read up on their environmental policies and look into their business practices. Your money can go a long way to support positive change in the destination you’re visiting.
  • Pack reusable items like water bottles, straws, coffee cups, and bags so you will create less waste during your trip.
  • If you plan to do any animal encounters on your trip — like swimming with dolphins or visiting elephants — be very wary and dig into the ethics of it. Far too often, animals are harmed for the sake of these activities. There are ethical animal experiences out there, but you have to do a fair amount of research to find them.

As a bonus tip, be sure to leave reviews — both positive and negative when warranted. Did your tour company go above and beyond to build up their community by hiring locals and giving back? Praise them so others can support them as well. On the other hand, if you had a less-than-wonderful experience somewhere and genuinely felt like the environment, wildlife or community was not being cared for, be honest so others can make an informed decision. It’s also a good idea to contact a company directly and let them know what they could do to improve.

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