5 easy ways to become a more Conscious & Responsible Traveler: San Francisco Diaries

5 easy ways to become a more Conscious & Responsible Traveler: San Francisco Diaries

Pink Maxi cotton dress from Homegrown Sustainable brand  : KharaKapas Happy Happy 

Black Maxi Dress: Forever 21 (Old)

Hand painted One-of-a-kind Denim Jacket : Live Wyld

 

Staying at home and talking about conscious lifestyle habits can be quite easy since it involves dealing with smaller practices in our day to day life such as recycling, avoiding the use of plasticware and working towards creating a greener environment inside our house, but while we are traveling, sticking to sustainable practices becomes a little more challenging.

When we are traveling or are on a staycation, either locally or internationally, we often tend to loose ourselves in the moment and become carefree, trying to adapt to a new lifestyle. And when it comes to living a conscious, sustainable lifestyle, many people think it’s a part of themselves they have to leave at home. Living a socially and environmentally conscious lifestyle is not something that cannot be left behind, it is in fact a way of living life that follows us wherever we go.

Taking a trip doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your values and efforts to live a life that impacts the world, and those around you, for good.  In today’s world, it has become certainly important to focus on all your personal habits that might have an adverse effect on the environment and get rid of them or replace them with good ones, even while you travel. If you haven’t checked my post on simple ways in which you can reduce the use of plastic in your household, make sure you do check for some easiest tips: 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.

 

What does conscious traveling means?

Sustainable traveling or conscious traveling are both similar in terms of their understanding, the difference being that sustainable traveling aims at giving back to the country you are visiting. This consists of three aspects: the environment, the community and the national or local economy. Being aware of the environmental aspects and the impacts of all your activities, along with getting involved with the local community and getting to know more about the culture, volunteering and indulging in local activities each destination offers.

But since in some countries, especially in the third world, sustainability is often not a well-developed aspect specially in terms of tourism, that’s where the term conscious travelling comes in and why one should be aware of the impact of their actions and being responsible about it.

In simple words, conscious traveling means taking small steps towards a more greener environment wherever you go such as recycling, and to minimize your environmental impact as a traveler.

 

We recently visited some parts of California, well not recently, during the week of 4th of July, I have no idea what took me so long to share about the amazing experiences we had 🙂 I personally feel it is very important to enjoy every moment of our lives fully and live care-free but not at the expense of impacting our own environment negatively through our own actions. Care-free doesn’t really mean living irresponsibly and taking impulsive decisions that adversely effects our environment we live in and the people around us.

 

Today i am sharing some personal tips that we had incorporated in our recent travels aiming towards becoming a conscious traveler along with some that we have in our minds but haven’t had a chance to really abide to and the snippets from the amazing City of San Francisco:

1.SAY NO TO PLASTICS: TRAVEL WITH RE-USABLE, ALWAYS!

The first and the foremost thing to do is to always travel with reusable water bottles or coffee mugs. A very basic but practical way to travel more sustainably is to bring a BPA-free water bottle and refill it throughout your trip. Since we both are not regular coffee drinkers, we always make sure to carry 2 reusable water bottles whenever we travel and refill them before heading out from the hotel and even when we are at the restaurants. Never hesitate to ask for an extra jug of water for refilling the water bottle at the restaurant !

It is also quite important to segregate trash from recyclable items and carry your recycle waste along with you until you find a authorized recycle container. We always store them in your handbag/ backpack until we find a trash can.

 

2. USE TRANSPORTATION RESPONSIBLY:

Conscious traveling basically focuses on minimizing our carbon footprint wherever we go. Minimize your footprint by being mindful of the local environment and using public transport such as buses or bicycle or simply. We visited Chicago early this year and San Francisco recently, both the times in our travels, we were lucky to find a hotel near to the Downtown area and spent most of our day on feet! Not only walking around or using public transportation helps us experience the city like a LOCAL but is also very environment friendly.

 

3. INVEST IN ECO-TOURISM or ECO-LODGES:

This is one of those decisions that we are yet to abide to regarding our travels. Mostly because we have visited Big cities till yet and haven’t gotten a chance to visit a place that will be appropriate to experience a locally-owned accommodation such as guest houses or B&B’s (Breakfast and Bed). Eco-lodges are not only economical, but also a great way to support local economy as opposed to large Hotel chain.

 

4. SUPPORT LOCAL ECONOMY & SMALL BUSINESSES:

Although shopping is not an activity on our list while traveling and we also make sure to avoid visiting shopping malls, no matter how fancy or big they are! One of the duties of being a good tourist and a conscious one of course, is to give back to the country/ city you are visiting. One way of doing that is by visiting local markets and investing in one-of-a-kind artisanal products from local artisans and contribute in preserving their cultural heritage or simply searching for local fairs nearby.

 

5. INVEST IN A STURDY BACKPACK:

You are not a committed traveler if you don’t carry a backpack with you! A backpack is basically the first thing you should buy before planning your next trip, you can not only store your personal items but it will always give a push to carry your own water bottle (reusable), coffee mug and other reusable items. And if you are an avid shopper, you can also carry a reusable shopping bag inside it.

Here’s guide to a variety of reusable alternatives you can choose from, for coffee mugs, plastic bags and even reusable or plant-based compostable straws that you can carry in your backpack:  5 SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE IN YOUR DAILY LIFE.

 

6. CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU WEAR:

One of things i like about visiting new cities is that i get to wear something i have dying to wear from a long time. Personally, i always love to wear easy and light-weight cotton dresses from homegrown brands, mostly sustainable ones that offers extra care to the material and it’s anti-fit characteristics makes it easy to walk around in it. It also gives me a sense of being connected to my roots and beliefs yet being care-free in my own way, and also helps me from impulsive buying during our travels.

Invest in Good Jacket: A good jacket preferably a denim one is a must for any kind of travel either small or big. Investing in a good jacket that goes well with all types of clothing will help you avoid packing unnecessary items and carry less luggage.

Scarfs are practically the best. I have used them as head wraps, as a belt or simply as an accessory, or while suffering from a migraine attack or covering my face if needed throughout my trip. Scarfs have multiple uses and one should always carry one.

While traveling, it is not only important to pay close attention to your actions but also to make sure to bring meaningful & essential items on your trip to make it more authentic and personal. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter which place you are visiting, whether you are visiting the city of Jaipur, India or island of Santorini, Greece or any other part of the world, it is one’s personal responsibility to be a conscious traveler and reduce your environmental impact, benefit the the people around you and make your trip much more authentic.

I hope you guys liked some of the easiest tips that you can follow in your next trip and become a more responsible traveler. 

 

Concept and styling: Tanvi Mutneja (@tanvi_msidhu)

Photography : Rajvir Sidhu

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