Three Green Travel Tips: Asia

As an Earth Day celebration….yes, that’s today (22 April 2019)…The Vegan Vagabond is posting three sustainable travel tips. They may seem like no brainers, but seriously, when you’re super busy or fail to account for certain things before heading out to this end of the world or… if you realize just how unsustainable Asian consumerism is once you’re here but have no time to make adjustments, then you’ll end up dooming our planet even more than we already have. 🌿🌊

RE-USABLE WATER BOTTLE

I told you, you may think this is pretty obvious. But really, I need to emphasize…we know that Asian travel is synonymous with bottled water if you want to avoid nasty bouts of diarrhea. You’d be surprised if you add up all the bottles you keep running into convenience stores to buy how many they actually are. Below is ONE DAY worth of plastic bottles. (I usually use a re-usable bottle, this was on a particularly exceptional bad day, when my bottle burst in my bag, and I had to choose between buying water or dying from dehydration on a humid 40 degree day in South East Asia.) Instead, buy a massive water bottle that you can use to re-fill your bottle every morning before trekking out for your adventures.

Avoid having to purchase multiple water bottles in one day.

Instead:

Usually, I buy a 5 Liter (just over a gallon) of water, and re-fill my bottle every day before heading out.

METAL CHOPSTICKS…OR, IF YOU’RE A NEWBIE, A FORK THEN.

Have these stashed in my apartment from my first week in China: i.e. before realizing continuing to accept these with every meal would make me a prime promoter of ocean garbage patches.

Traveling South East Asia means an inevitable ton of take-outs, that, of course, means an accompanying pair of chopsticks EVERY TIME. They’re always wrapped in single-use plastics-and we know what single use plastics are doing to our planet and fellow Earth dwellers. Instead, refuse to accept them and indicate you don’t need chopsticks with your meal, and invest in metal chopsticks, forks and/or spoons instead that you can wash and re-use. It literally takes a second to rinse them out at the end of a meal. I can’t imagine how much single-use plastic is disposed of daily in China just from chopstick wrappings.

RE-USABE SHOPPING BAG

Shopping is a disaster, in China at least, every excuse is made for a shopping bag to accompany even the smallest, most microscopic purchase. So imagine buying a sizable amount of goods….instead, make sure you buy a re-usable bag. They’re generally easy to find, and are super cheap too. I invested in this super cute Japanese bag made from sustainably sourced materials. I never leave without stowing it in my backpack, just in case I end up buying a number of items-although, I try to avoid that…MINIMALISM IS THE FUTURE, PEOPLE.

My re-usable shopping bag.

There you go. Super easy, inexpensive, almost obvious considerations to take into account before coming over to Asia, especially to China. You can buy all the re-usable items-bottle, bag and cutlery- and stash them in your luggage before coming out. You can easily buy metal chopsticks once you arrive, though. Okay, signing off. Happy travels my fellow Earth lovers! πŸ™‚ 🌍

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