5 Ways to Explore the World with a Small Eco-Footprint

As travel becomes more popular and more accessible, it becomes even more important for travellers to remain eco-conscious. Tourism accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but being mindful of the planet doesn’t mean you can’t explore it. Use these 5 tips to ensure that the only footprints you leave behind are in the sand. 

1. Choose sustainable transportation

Many places you’ll want to visit will only be accessible by airplane. Once at your destination, consider other ways of exploring. Walking is a great way to see a new town, allowing you to find places you might miss when sitting in a car. Public transportation is another way to get you where you need to go, while giving you a truly local experience. Larger cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona have bike-sharing programs that will reduce your carbon footprint and give you a fun and zippy way to see the city.

2. Take your own green gear

Instead of buying plastic water bottles to stay hydrated, take your own refillable water bottle to use while you’re abroad. You can also carry your own reusable drinking straw to reduce your use of disposable plastics. A reusable tote and even shampoo and conditioner bars will mean less disposable plastic, a smaller eco-footprint and more sustainable adventure. All of these products are easily available in the I LIVE ECO box

3. Stay in eco-friendly accommodations

Businesses around the world have been looking to minimize their own environmental footprints, which makes finding eco-conscious hotels easier than ever. When you’re booking a place to stay, look for hotels that: 

  • Are actively working to become carbon neutral in their business
  • Use green energy whenever possible
  • Employ linen reuse initiatives 
  • Contribute to their local communities 
  • Use green cleaning products

 4. Choose sustainable tours and activities

Whether it’s diving in Belize, skiing in Switzerland or dolphin swimming in Hawaii, each place we visit offers its own unique activities for travellers to enjoy but it’s worth researching the environmental impact your activity has. Riding elephants in Thailand, swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines or hanging with gorillas in Rwanda all sound like amazing adventures, but they all come with an environmental impact that shouldn’t be ignored. Do a little research into your activities and the local tour operators, and choose adventures that support the local community and encourage ethical operators.

 5. Eat local

When you want to truly experience a new culture and community, there’s no substitute for diving into the local cuisine. But not all eating is green. Choose locally-owned street vendors and restaurants, staying away from big food chains. This will help keep your food dollars within the local community. And don’t forget that eating eco isn’t just about where you eat, but also what you eat. Animal agriculture can be detrimental to the environment, so choose vegetarian or vegan dishes over meat to keep your eating green. A little research into what you’re eating can go a long way into making sure your food choices support the local community and the planet.

Sign up for the I LIVE ECO box now to start getting the tools you need to live more eco at home and abroad. 



5 green ways to celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day


Chocolates, roses and candle lit dinners are often what come to mind when celebrating on February 14th but traditional Valentine’s Day activities aren’t always eco-friendly. This V-Day, show the planet some love by injecting a little green into your red and pink holiday. Here are five simple ways to celebrate while keeping it green:


1. Keep it green & local

If food is your love language, consider speaking in ways that show your appreciation for your valentine and for the planet. Cooking dinner at home? Keep at least part of the meal vegetarian or vegan for a smaller eco-footprint. If you’re eating dinner out, consider restaurants that source their ingredients locally, or completely zero-waste restaurants. This is a great way to keep it green while supporting local eco-businesses.


2. Fair-trade chocolate is always sweeter

Over 35 million boxes of chocolate are sold each year for Valentine’s Day. Despite this boost in sales, the profits don’t trickle down to most cacao farmers, who continue to live in poverty. Gifting fair-trade chocolate this Valentine’s Day is an eco-friendly way to support farmers who supply our favourite treats, and helps ensure that our chocolate is cultivated sustainably, while those who work on the cacao farms get paid a living wage.


3. Spread the love to your community

This year, go beyond showing your love for just one person, and spread it to those in need in your own community. Take your Valentine’s chocolates, food, treats and love to a local shelter and share your love with others to capture the true spirit of the holiday.


4. Ditch red for green

Roses on Valentine’s Day are always more expensive than other times of the year. But the true cost of the bouquet is higher than you think. Roses are often cultivated in greenhouses that use artificial light and heat before being transported in trucks. Imported roses travel thousands of miles to sit on your beloved’s table for a week. This year, give your love an eco-friendly potted plant instead of roses. Plants are simple to source locally, last longer, are easy to care for, and can even provide health benefits like maintaining indoor air quality.


5. Date sustainably

Theatre tickets or weekend getaways can be super romantic for Valentine’s day, but they can also be pricey and aren’t necessarily eco-friendly. If you want to go out and keep it green, consider an outdoor activity for you and your love to do together. Cycle to the nearest beautiful outdoor spot for a picnic, hike through the nearest greenspace, or even go for a city stroll and enjoy the architecture on foot. Whatever you choose, eco-friendly can still be ultra-romantic.